Smooth like a Ball Python

Are you familiar with the phrase “smooth like a baby’s bottom” when referring to the texture of a non-baby’s bottom?  I’ve got a better one for you.

Smooth like a ball python.

I went to Fernbank Museum of Natural History today for Reptile Day.

I saw a presentation on the box turtle, uromastyx, ball python, and American alligator.  I learned that if you see a turtle on the road and you want to help it, you need to look at where the turtle is headed (no pun intended).  If the turtle is facing a certain direction, move the turtle in that direction.  If you put it “back” to the originating side of the road, it will just get back on the road and you’ll have to move it again.

At the end of the show-and-tell, the audience was allowed to pet the python and the alligator.  The python’s skin is sooooo smooth.

A few of the other reptiles in the atrium, courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta Herpetology Club of Georgia State University, the Georgia Reptile Society, the Orianne Society, and the Georgia DNR-Wildlife Resources Division and Wildlife Wonders-North Georgia Zoo.

I’ve always been a mammal kind of gal.  Though I like turtles, frogs, and salamanders, I’ve never truly appreciated snakes, alligators, and lizards until now.  Seeing them outside of a glass box and a really good David Attenborough Nature program will produce such an effect on a person.

2 thoughts on “Smooth like a Ball Python

  1. Christopher

    “……I’ve always been a mammal kind of gal……”
    Is this because mammals are “warm blooded” as opposed to reptiles which are “cold-blooded”?
    “Cold-blooded” and “reptile” don’t come out well in our everyday speech. When we speak of someone as “reptilian”, or “cold-blooded”, we don’t mean this approvingly. And, when someone does something in a “cold-blooded” fury, it’s…..well…….a fury you especially wouldn’t want to get in the way of………
    Could “warm blooded” and “mammal” have the same negative connotations for lizards as “cold-blooded” and “reptile” have for us? So that should a lizard become sufficiently angry, it can – in lizard parlance – erupt in a “warm-blooded” rage?

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      For me it was more about perceived cuddliness and exposure. I’d seen many more photos on TV and in magazines of bears, foxes, cats, wolves, dogs, farm animals, marine mammals. The cuteness factor never really connected with snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodilians. There’s also a much stronger sense of verisimilitude with stuffed animals that are mammals vs. reptiles. A stuffed animal snake feels nothing like the real thing.

      Now that I’m older, I can see the awesomeness of an animal beyond how cute and cuddly it appears. There’s more to the animal kingdom than that. I still can’t get on the arachnid party train, though. I completely respect what they do and why they do it…but I prefer not to look at them or be near them. I’d much rather be in a room with five snakes of varying sizes than five arachnids of varying sizes.


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