Water Python and Grassland Melomys

Natural Sciences Collection

Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT)

Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT)

A major predator on the tropical floodplains in Australia is the Water Python (Liasis fuscus). These big non-venomous snakes occur in large numbers. During the dry season they hide among vegetation and emerge at night to hunt rats, such as the Grassland Melomys (Melomys burtoni). Immense numbers of rats live among the cracks in the earth of the dried floodplains. During the wet season, when the rats are absent from the swamped floodplain, the pythons become more aquatic and switch their diet to water birds and their eggs. This ability to change behaviour with the seasons is why many floodplain animals are very successful at survival.


  • Title: Water Python and Grassland Melomys
  • Creator: Natural Sciences Collection
  • Medium: Freeze-dried specimen (Water Python) and taxidermy skin mount (Grassland Melomys)

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