Feeding ecology and diet

Pythons are primarily ambush hunters that consume vertebrate prey. Pythons can and do incorporate active foraging behavior as well. Lizards make up a large percentage of the diet of small pythons, both small taxa and the young of larger taxa. With an increase in size, mammals become an increasingly significant percentage of the diet. Many pythons consume birds when given the opportunity, but birds make up a small portion of the diet of pythons in nature. Pythons occasionally consume snakes; the genera Aspidites, Antaresia, Apodora, and Bothrochilus regularly include snakes in their diets. There are records of attacks on humans by the three largest species, dating back to the early eighteenth century. While such predation is rare, it is undisputed that reticulated pythons, African pythons, and Indian pythons grab and constrict humans from time to time and then attempt to consume them; they sometimes succeed.

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