Some questions about albino and the morphpedia

her thoughts be like must be super sneky can’t be SEEEEN MUST HIDEEEEEE


:joy: if we were mice she would definitely be brain and me pinky
She seriously makes me laugh.

pinky and the brain genius GIF


Lol I LOVE “Pinky and the Brain!” And yeah, OC is all, “I’m sooo sneeeeeeky. She can’t sssee meeee!”


Within this statement you chose to ignore all of my experience with these animals in this setting, and instead rebutted with examples of 3 specific ball pythons. I’ve spent a several hundred hours with a couple hundred ball pythons total over the years, seeing in real time, how climbing is limited to specific animals and scenarios. I’m not aware of anyone else who’s done something similar, and it definitely hasn’t been done at the scale I do it at.

One factor that will drive them to climb, that I haven’t seen you address, is stress. How can you be so certain that the animals you mentioned aren’t constantly climbing in an attempt to escape stress?

You’ve called out others for not providing scientific papers for their statements, please share with us the science that supports this one.


I don’t know about balls only my limited knowledge of my rosys and even though she has climbed on stuff im pretty sure its because she was trying to escape rather than out of fun of climbing, my other 2 rosys dont climb at all. They might climb over a low branch but they really dont climb.

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Your first post (4Oct) was hidden because someone complained and a staff member agreed with the complaint. You then posted basically the same thing again on 8Oct that was also hidden because of a complaint. The second post was vetted and unhidden. Your first post, however, still remains hidden

What I said was absolutely correct. Albinos lack melanin, and that does indeed lead to photosensitivity. Leucistic animals do NOT lack melanin. The nature of the mutations results in improper distribution of melanin throughout the body, however, they produce it just fine which is why their irises are still pigmented. Further, it is their pupils that appear red, not their irises and the reason for that, as I noted above, is because the altered pigmentation of the iris enhances the always present eyeshine effect from the tapetum lucidum. The nature of the morph has nothing to do with it

I have a Freeway Enchi Pastel Pin with green irises and “red pupils”. I have a Butter Enchi OD Pastel YB with amber irises and “red pupils”. I have a GStripe Acid Pastel with gold irises and “red pupils”. I have a BlkPastel Enchi Butter OD with amber irises and “red pupils”. I have an Acid Blackhead BlkPastel with onyx irises and “red pupils”. I had an Ivory with cobalt irises and “red pupils”. I had a SuperFire with indigo irises and “red pupils”

Every single one of these morph combos has darker irises (because all of them still produce melanin) and yet all of them have "red pupils” because it is not that the pupil is actually red, it is just the eyeshine effect

Excuse me??? I would like you to directly point to where I say I “do not have any scientific research to back my claim”.

You cannot do that because what I said was - why is it my job to spoon-feed the readily available research to people that are too lazy to look for it themselves?

I have read numerous papers on the natural ecology and habitats of ball pythons across their range. I have read studies on their diets. I have read research on the bio-locomotion and structural physiology of terrestrial, semi-arboreal, and arboreal snakes.

I have taken all of what I have read into account when I say that the single paper discussing ball pythons in trees is being vastly overplayed as a justification for calling ball pythons “semi-arboreal”

Just because you have not bothered to find, read, or understand that research does not mean that it does not exist or that I do not have it

And yet not only are you doing this exact thing, you are also blatantly ignoring the actual research that contradicts your desires…

While a generalist can be semi-arboreal that does not mean that a generalist that is on occasion found in trees automatically becomes semi-arboreal. Obsessively focusing on a single behaviour on a limited scale to the exclusion of all other behaviours across a broad range and the actual anatomy and physiology of an organism is not how to make an informed decision. Again, I point to the ridiculous concept of claiming that sloths are semi-aquatic simply by want of focusing on the times they have been found to swim.


Listen, I feel like you are upset by some of the information I am presenting and so are taking on a hostile attitude trying to make personal attacks. That was not my intention, I am just speaking in regard to facts. Someone complained about my post, it was hidden and reappeared after it was looked at by a moderator. I know because I exchanged messages with the moderator.

I can search for scientific articles on how a lack of melanin in eyes can make an animal photosensitive and more prone to damage, but it’s something which you yourself acknowledge. If you understand that it’s the lack of melanin that causes the photosensitivity in red eyes, why would think it’s different for just the iris? If the iris lacks melanin, that will be more photosensitive. If an animal has a red iris, that iris is more sensitive to damage from UV light. Not sure what point you are arguing here? Yes, not all morphs have complete leucism, so what? I was speaking about any animal with a lack of melanin being photosensitive in the parts that lack melanin. Leucistic animals have structurally weaker scales or feathers on the parts lacking pigment, this is old news. If an animal has patches of leucism and dark eyes, obviously it’s eyes aren’t going to be photosensitive. It has to do with the presence of melanin, so what are you arguing about? LOL.
The animals you have with red irises are going to have more photosensitive irises when exposed to UV light. Not a big deal, I have both leucistic and albino animals and they tend to just hide their faces under a leaf or a branch or something when basking, but they still love basking but I notice do not bask for as long as my darker colored ball pythons.

You seem very passionate about denying that ball pythons can be semi-aboreal, to the extent that you claim research studies are to be dismissed without any concrete evidence on WHY they should be dismissed.

Look up the definition of a generalist species. Ball pythons climb, even in the recent Dav Kaufman youtube video, all the locals he asked said they are found in trees in the rainy season, when most of the ground is flooded. A quick google search will tell you the rainy season in Ghana last from May to September. That’s almost half the year. LOL

Listen, that’s great that you’ve kept animals for years and have gained some experience, but everything evolves and keep growing. It’s the same reason we aren’t still treating every human ailment with leaches. LOL. Information about ball pythons is going to continue to grow and get more in depth and it’s our job as keepers to evolve with all the new information we learn. It can be a fun exciting thing as we make our animals’ lives better and more enriched, rather than something to fight over.

Have you ever kept any truly semi arboreal or arboreal snake species?


Friendly reminder let’s not get to heated :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face: not trying mini mod


Not kept myself but yes taken care of them.

Does that include feeding them? I feel like once you observe the mechanics, of striking at prey while balancing or wrapped on a limb, it’s clear that it requires a body type and a level of dexterity that ball pythons simply don’t possess.

Depending on the species of bird and it’s niche in it’s habitat, there is no reason to assume that ball pythons are eating birds from high up in trees. Many species of bird nest low to the ground in shrubs/undergrowth or even on the ground, and many more feed there. Any avian nest raiding they may do could much more easily be described by the above, than by climbing high in trees. The presence of birds as gut contents doesn’t necessarily mean they’re spending any/more time in trees.


There is no “assumption” about ball pythons eating birds in trees. Scientists did research and published a paper. They documented which species of birds were being eaten by examining their stomach contents, you can look it up. The birds they documented weren’t birds commonly found on the ground, they appeared to be raiding nests. You can easily google and find the paper, it’s fascinating.

can you provide I link please we dont know the search to use

… But …

Did they document the ratio of birds to rodents found in the stomach of the entire area or just in trees? how about the entire region? If you live in a place that only sells fish within a hours distance, your probably having fish for dinner.

This is such an important point that needs to be taken in.


Listen, it is a legit study done by real scientists. Here is just a file from Reptifiles that lists at least two studies: well:

I am not seeing any of the contradictions some of these fellas are claiming here, backed up by any scientific references, so I would rather follow the science. To make personal assumptions that because they think the study is flawed and that they don’t believe they could climb trees because they think the animals do not have the dexterity, is just speculation.

I WILL say, that I do know that ball pythons are animals that learn, in my experience, so while mine are all stellar climbers I know this is because I let them climb from an early age and when I’ve adopted or cared for animals that were kept in confined spaces, their muscle tone was lacking and they were much clumsier as being confined hadn’t given the opportunities to develop normal muscle tone or skill climbing so they had to learn like a youngster and when you have a bigger snake that’s a klutz, it can be a bit nerve racking.

They also learn HOW to fall, just like human athletes do, to not hurt themselves, so for a younger animal, learning how to fall is probably a little easier than a larger, adult animal, particularly one lacking in muscle tone. (Ya know, like a gymnast trains her whole life to compete in the Olympics, you wouldn’t expect a 50 year old guy who’s never played sports to be able to do an Olympic athlete’s routine, buy ya know, in nature, an animal better be the the best shape it can or it will not survive.)

These animals do not have to have specialized mechanics for being aboreal as they are GENERALISTS, they aren’t aboreal, but they can be considered semi-aboreal like many other generalist species. Lots of prey found in the stomachs of ball pythons was from birds that do not visit the ground often, if at all.

Just for fun, I want to add a few things here.

  1. You keep referencing the “the scientists” and “real scientists”, but here’s the thing…scientists are not a monolith. Even within the smallest niche subfields you will find individuals, groups and publications with seemingly contradictory findings. Much like the Blind Men and the Elephant story, there are a lot of different variables that can affect the results and conclusions of a study. While certain statements are almost universally accepted by the scientific community (gravity exists, the earth is round, vaccines are good/important), there’s so much that isn’t known and is hotly contested. I almost guarantee you could fund 10 separate groups to go explore the natural diet and habitat of ball pythons and depending on time of year, region, whether they were looking during the day or night, internal biases, composition of the team and human error, you would get some different and contradictory results.

  2. Since we’re talking about “real scientists”…do you know what @t_h_wyman does in “real life”?


Two things here…

One: As Hilary so rightly notes, anyone can publish a paper, that does not make it FACT. If you need proof of that than I will point you to Andrew Wakefield

Two: Just reading a paper (or having some YouTuber radically misinterpret a paper) does not make one a scientist. Actually understanding how to interpret a paper is vitally important. That is part of what it means to be a real scientist.

So let us do that. Right here. Right now:

Taken directly from the study

Study area and species
The field study was carried out mainly during the wet season
of 1997, i.e. from early Jule to late September, with some addi-
tional information in September-October 1996, April-May, and
November 1997, in some localities of southeastern Nigeria
(Abarikpo, Rivers State, 05°08" N latitude, 06°37’ E longitude; Ru-
muji, Rivers State, 04°57’ N latitude, O6°46’ E longitude; Orubiri,
Rivers State, 04°42’ N latitude, 07°01’ E longitude; Eket-Mobil sta-
tion surroundings, Akwa-Ibom State, 04°50’ N latitude, 07°59’ E
longitude, Itu surroundings, Calabar, Cross River State). These lo-
calities are characterized by (1) permanently flooded swamp rain-
forest patches surrounded by cultivations of cassava and oil
palms, and (2) dryland rainforest patches. The swamps are domi-
nated by Elaeis sp. and dicotyledonous trees. The study area lies
within the Guinea-Congolian rainforest (White, 1983) and the
Equatorial climatic zone (Chi-Bonnardel, 1973). The climate is
typical for a tropical sub-Saharan country, with well-marked dry
and wet seasons and with relatively little monthly fluctuation in
maximum and minimum temperatures (White, 1983). The dry sea-
son extends from November to April, whereas the wet season
goes from May to October, with the highest rainfall peak during
July. Mean monthly maximum temperatures range between 27°
and 34° C, while minima vary between 22° and 24° C. This region
is one of the wettest in the world, with an average yearly rainfall
of 3146 mm (data from the Department of Geography, University
of Calabar)

A total of 29 Python regius males and 33 females was
examined for food intake

Notice the areas I have made BOLD

When a real scientist, or anyone scientifically literate, reads that, they recognize that this study is exceedingly limited to a scant 62 animals that were observed during the wet season of one of the wettest regions of the world proximal to riverine locations where the environment is predominantly permanently flooded swamps. Those same scientists and scientifically literate individuals then have the ability to recognize that the behaviours described for the animals in this study do not necessarily apply to every ball python in existence across the entirety of their range.

For perspective, the range of P. regius, as pictured here, is the rough equivalent of drawing parallel lines from the north and south borders of the state of California across the entirety of the US until you hit the Atlantic. That tiny red dot is where the study took place. And, since we are talking about the necessity of being scientific, that red dot is not even remotely close to scale. In reality, that red dot covers an area maybe the size of Washington D.C.

You have taken the stance that the behaviour of 62 snakes in that tiny region is an absolute and unarguable fact for every single ball python across that range.

Put bluntly, there is absolutely nothing that is scientific about that conclusion.

There is a difference between obligate and facultative

You have, and continue, to conflate the facultative behaviour of a very small number of animals in an exceedingly limited range in environments that are not universal during what could be considered a somewhat unfavourable time of year as if it were the defined obligate lifestyle of these animals.


very interesting!


Nope. lol. If you read the link I posted, it showed TWO separate scientific studies, none of which you can disregard with the science to back up your claims. You didn’t even read the link I posted. LOL

Gorzula, Stefan, William Owusu Nsiah and William Oduro. "Survey of the Royal Python (Python Regius) in Ghana. Secretariat CITES 1997


Luiselli, Luca and Francesco Maria Agelicic “Sexual size and dimorphism and natural history traits are correlated with intersexed dietary divergence in royal pythons (python regius) from the rainforests of southeaster Nigeria” Italian Journal of Zoology 65.2 (1998) 183-185

So the distance between Ghana to Nigeria can be comparable to the distance between NY city and Florida, plus or minus depending on where you start or finish (far end of each country, add some, close end subtract, etc) That is hardly such a tiny area. In addition, again, you can quickly google the rainy season in these countries and it’s over half the year.

I’ve heard the excuse that the sample size was “too small” before with the agit-prop answer from various people, many of whom I’m sure never even read the studies or tried to understand what they were about. It’s still not a valid scientific answer to dismiss the studies.

In addition, if you read the link, there were quotes from an actual biologist who’s field of study is specifically snakes:

Snake biologist Henry Astley had this to say
on the subject: “Coming from my background
(snake biomechanics), NOTHING about the
ball python morphology is consistent with an
animal which “spends all their time in a termite
mound”. Their skulls have no reinforcement or
digging adaptations, their eyes aren’t reduced,
they have distinct “necks” (as opposed to the
robust “train locomotive” morphology of most
burrowers), and have no specialized digging
rostral scales. Anyone who claims they spend
their whole lives in termite mounds needs to
go take a look at Loxocemus and Calabaria to
see real burrowing morphology, then defend
how balls can have the lifestyle claimed with
zero morphological adaptations.”

Also, in the link there is anecdotal observation of a ball python methodically searching a tall tree for nesting birds. So again, it’s not just a one off.