Black-Headed Python (Aspidites melanocephalus)
Port Headland, Western Australia
As the sun sets, a juvenile black-headed python becomes active after a hot day in northern Western Australia. Under the cover of darkness it will track the scent of other sleeping reptiles such as monitor lizards and dragons. Upon locating an occupied burrow or rock crevice containing its desired prey, the Python grasps the animal with its many sharp teeth and employs a modified method of constriction to overcome the victim. Unable to wrap its coils around the animal in such a tight space, it simply presses against the opposing wall with considerable force until death by suffocation occurs.
As this method of hunting expends considerable energy, should an easier meal such as a fresh road-kill lizard or snake become available, the python will not let it go to waste. This indiscriminate diet only increases its ability to survive in some of Australia’s toughest environments.