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LOOK: Reptile Enthusiast Breeds Extremely Rare Snake With Emoji Prints

Mar 10, 2017 07:28 AM EST
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Is this the world's smallest Christmas card?

A reptile expert has managed to breed an emoji-patterned ball python. It took Justin Kobylka eight years of selective breeding before finally creating his reptilian masterpiece.

IFL Science reported that the snake is a lavender albino piebald ball python, which is distinctive for its white and orange coloring and piebald pattern.

Daily Mail explains that the distinctive pattern of pigmented spots on an unpigmented background is determined by the animal's genes.

Due to recessive mutation that occurs naturally, the piebald pattern could turn out warped. In Kobylka's case, it just so happens that the ball python came out with three perfect emoji shapes on its body -- an occurrence that is extremely rare.

Kobylka breeds snakes with distinctive patterns to sell them. Popsugar noted that it is valued at more than $4,000. However, Kobylka said the emoji-patterned ball python is not for sale.

Kobylka started his business after deciding to leave his medical/surgical practice. In his blog, the said he has had an unexplainable attraction towards reptiles since he was young.

"In college, I hid snakes in my dorm room and hatched out my first clutch of Sinaloan Kingsnakes in a small incubator under my bed," he wrote.

Ball pythons are not venomous and make popular pets because of their small size and are generally friendly. Reptiles Magazine noted that with proper care, they can live up to 30 years or more. Female ball pythons, 3 to 5 feet long, are generally longer than the male ball pythons, 2 to 3 feet long.

In the wild, these creatures thrive in warm tropical areas. They are originally from Africa, and are considered royals in their native land.

Many people debate over whether or not pythons make a good pet. Last month, a woman from Oregon was rushed to a hospital after her pet ball python got stuck in her earlobe.

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