Africa south of the Sahara, from Senegal east to Ethiopia and Somalia and south to northern Namibia and east to the Indian Ocean
Grassland, open forests, and savanna not far from water
Wild: Opportunistic, primarily small rodents, but goats, crocodiles and even people
Up to 100 eggs
up to 30 years in captivity
Can be up to 25 feet in length, but average around 16 to 20 feet. Brown with olive and tan irregular blotching fading to white on the underside. Tan "V" shape on the face with no fangs. Uses heat sensing organ in both jaws (infrared) to detect warm-blooded prey.
Behavior: The top and bottom jaws are attached to each other with stretchy ligaments so that they can swallow prey whole. They are highly dependent on sources of water, and estivate during the hottest and driest parts of the year, remaining deep in burrows made by other animals.
Reproduction: Occurs in the spring. Incubation is 2-3 months. Hatchling are between 18 – 24 inches in length and appear virtually identical to adults, except with more contrasting colors.
Did You Know?
- They continue to grow throughout their whole life.
- They cannot blink, but have a modified transparent scale eye cover.
- They have no external ears, but can feel vibrations, and like us have a semicircular canal
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the African Elephant Crossing at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.