Stick it out for survival
Originally uploaded by Pandiyan.
This would be pretty rude and crude for humans but for this snake it is a matter of survival. These darting tongue feeds tiny chemical particles in the air to what is called a Jacobson's organ located in the roof of its mouth which helps interpret that information.
The pythons just like some other snakes have the ability to sense heat as well. You can see the heat sensing pits on its face. They are clearer in the larger size.
This photo was a heck of a challenge though it looks pretty simple. The snake was animated than a teenager lost to rap music. Wont stay still for a second. And his tongue movement were pretty erratic and it took some time for me to sense the rhythm and predict it. Then I had to train the camera which has quite a shutter lag. The battery was low adding to the suspense. And I had a real teenager, Arun, to contend with. He was very irritable as I was taking a lot of time. He kept making annoying comments.
In all this tension, I could not get the snake positioned properly against the one on Arun's T-Shirt totally ruining the basic idea I had! I should have cropped that print out.
Incidentally, the T-Shirt was a payment for Arun for helping out with the shooting of a BBC documentary on turtles. I thought acting was pretty remunerative but then a T-Shirt is better than nothing for non-speaking part!. If you watch BBC nature programmes, you may catch Arun. But you will only see his fingers, hands and chest holding turtles and tortoises but not his face!