By Animal Planet
Every animal plays a special role in the web of life, but these 10 go above and beyond with their planet-saving activities.
10. Ball Python
This snake gets its namesake as a result of its tendency to coil into a tight ball if threatened, with its heads protected in the center of the coil. Commonly found in Africa, the species is also sometimes referred to as the royal python due to the belief that African rulers once adorned themselves with these snakes, like jewelry. Similar to a boa, most pythons take down their prey via constriction with a taste preference for shrews, mice and rats, which helps rein in overpopulation and its adverse effects on the environment.