VIDEO: Python stuck in endless loop of its own shed skin

By Australian Geographic 24 June 2016
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A Stimson python at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre has been filmed in a particularly awkward predicament.

Note from Rex Neindorf, owner of the Alice Springs Reptile Centre: 

“The snake was in no danger, it had successfully shed its skin but had entered into the open mouth of its sloughed skin thereby just spent a few hours doing laps till he broke out. The skin is tissue-paper thin and he would have been able to break out at any time, especially since there was several large holes in the skin already. As there was no danger to the snake I chose to leave him to find his own way out which he did. He is in perfect health and still on display as always.”

THIS STIMSON PYTHON, also known as a large-blotched python (Antaresia stimsoni), has managed to work itself into a very uncomfortable situation indeed.

In this viral video, shared on the Alice Springs Reptile Centre’s Facebook page last week, the python is shown moving through an endless loop of its own shed skin, from mouth to tail.

“It actually looks like a steering wheel,” the original post said. “Have been in the reptile business a long time and have never seen anything quite like it.”

Apparently the poor python continued in this manner for almost three hours before it finally managed to “bust” it’s way out, as shown in the below image, leaving behind an almost perfect circle of sloughed skin.


(Source: Alice Springs Reptile Centre)

Stimson pythons are nocturnal and can grow up to 1m long. They are native to central and western Australia, where they live in arid grasslands, shrublands, woodlands and desert.