Python, from the Greek word, is a genus of nonvenomous Pythonidae found in Africa and Asia. Until recently, seven extant species were recognised; however, three subspecies have been promoted and a new species recognised. A member of this genus, is among the longest snake species and extant reptiles in the world.
In Africa, members of the genus are found in the tropics south of the Sahara, but not in the extreme south-western tip of southern Africa or in Madagascar. In Asia, they are found from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, including the Nicobar Islands, through Myanmar, east to Indochina, southern China, Hong Kong and Hainan, as well as in the Malayan region of Indonesia and the Philippines.
Pythons are carnivores, eating mostly small mammals and birds. But exceptionally large pythons may search for larger food items like pigs or goats. Pythons have even been known to have attacked and eaten alligators. They have poor eyesight, so instead they stalk prey using chemical receptors in their tongues and heat-sensors along their jaws.
Iguana is a genus of herbivorous lizards that are native to tropical areas of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Two species are included in the genus Iguana: the green iguana, which is widespread throughout its range and a popular pet, and the Lesser Antillean iguana, which is native to the Lesser Antilles and endangered due to habitat destruction and hybridization with introduced green iguanas.
Iguanas can range from 1.5 to 1.8 metres (5 to 6 ft) in length, including their tail. The two species of lizard within the genus Iguana possess a dewlap, a row of spines running down their backs to their tails, and a tiny “third eye” on their heads. This light-sensing organ is known as the parietal eye, visible as a pale scale on the top of the head, and cannot make out details, just brightness. Behind their necks are small scales which resemble spokes, known as tuberculate scales. These scales may be a variety of colors and are not always visible from close distances. They have a large round scale on their cheeks known as a sub-tympanic shield. Feeding your iguana a well balanced diet of greens, vegetables, fruits and some other foods. Be sure to supply your animal with a variety of different foods.
“Large carnivores can certainly interact with large pythons, as their cubs are probably on the menu, but an adult lion or leopard or hyena would likely dispatch the python very quickly.” says Kowalski.
But the next morning, they discovered “a gigantic rock submerged in a swamp”: a sated, swollen python that clearly had eaten something large. The python had, in fact, ambushed the Iguana and constricted it before it could get away – likely an epic struggle. The python attacked the Iguana as it wandered through a drainage area in search of an afternoon resting spot.
Fortunately, the python did not snack on one of their research subjects; its prey was likely a newcomer male seeking out a new clan before he met his untimely end.
“For the Iguana, I would say this python had to be perfect,” says Kowalski. “If it did not immediately strike and coil the neck-chest region to immobilize the head, the Iguana could’ve easily crushed the python’s skull.”