The boa is a genus of large non-venomous snakes found mostly in South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The boa constrictor is one of the most popular species belonging to family Boidae and genus Boa. The pythons belong to the same family as the boas. The boa is considered as one of the largest and heavy bodied snakes along with python and anaconda. The boa constrictor gets its name from its typical method of hunting. The boa wraps its body around the victim and literally constricts it till the prey dies.
Facts About Boa Constrictor
- Boas have characteristic vestigial hind limbs which are known as anal spurs.
- They are usually nocturnal and solitary, except during their mating period.
- The life span of a this snake is 20 - 25 years. But, it matures completely at the age of 2 - 3 years.
- The neonate boa constrictor is 50 - 60 cms in length while as an adult it can grow up to 13 - 18 feet in length.
- Boa constrictors are usually found in brown and cream color with obscure pattern which seems similar to lines, diamonds, etc., on their body. Emerald green, red boas are some of the rare species.
- According to boa constrictor facts, it is found that this snake moves in the straight line unlike to the back and forth movement of other snakes.
- Unlike other snakes, the boa constrictor gives birth to young ones rather than laying eggs. The female boa can lay up to 10 - 40 young ones at the same time.
- The habitat of this snake ranges from deserts, open Savannah to wet tropical forests and cultivated fields. Although it is an excellent swimmer, this snake prefers living on dry land. Sometimes, it either lives underground or is even found living in trees.
- Agoutis, mongoose, rats, birds, and bats are the preys of the boa constrictor. However, it can kill any mammal right from monkeys, deer to wild pigs.
- A boa constrictor has small hooked teeth to grab its prey. But, as mentioned above, this snake kills the prey by squeezing it by coiling around it until it dies.
- When endangered, a boa constrictor can hiss so loudly that it can be heard up to 100 feet away.
- Boas have heat sensitive scales or pits on the top of their heads which help them to find their prey in the dark. They even make use of their flicking tongue to pick up the scent.
- Red tailed boas are one of the most popular species of boa constrictors kept as pets. They are slightly larger than the common boas and have a red tail, as the name suggests. Red tailed boas are also more attractive and expensive.
- Boa constrictors are ectothermic, i.e. they change their body temperature according to the surroundings. However, pet owners are advised to keep boas in slightly heated surroundings as boas naturally belong to the tropical habitat.
- Sadly, some boa species are now considered as endangered animal species as they are excessively hunted for their exotic skin.
- The boa constrictor and python are the most primitive snakes, and it is essential to protect them from getting extinct.
Earlier, boa constrictor snakes were kept in fields to keep away mice and other rodents. Today, they are favored in many parts of the world as pets. However, it is essential to know these simple facts before thinking of keeping them as pets.