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Boa Constrictor

Fact File

Continent: Americas
Habitat: Forests, grasslands, semi-desert
Weight and Length: 45kg max, 4m max
CARNIVORE
Diet: Carnivore
Gestation: 5-8 months
Number of Young: average of 25

Conservation Status: Uncategorised (possibly LC)

Characteristics

  • Gives birth to live young!
  • Can live for 40 years
  • They do not have elongated fangs, instead having long rows of back-pointing teeth. These are continually replaced.
  • Their tongues flick often, allowing them to ‘taste’ the air.
  • They also have good vision, and are able to see UV light. They can detect vibrations in the ground and air as well.
  • There may be 10 subspecies, but the final number has not been agreed upon.

Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor

Animals — Reptiles — Squamata (scaled reptiles) — Boidae (boas)


Boa Constrictors are a species of large snake that is non-venomous. They instead constrict their prey once caught, asphyxiating them or cutting off blood supply. Their patterns vary, but are still recognisable. There are up to 10 subspecies.

These snakes are largely solitary, only interacting with other snakes when they seek out mates. They tend to be active during the night (are nocturnal) but also enjoy sun basking. If prey is readily available, this snake will rarely move, waiting for prey to cross its path. If something does come near it will strike and constrict them. However, if prey is scarce they may actively hunt.

As a whole the boa constrictor species is not thought to be endangered, however it is definitely threatened in many wild populations. It faces persecution, collection for the pet trade, habitat loss and poaching.

Habitat: Varies from rainforest clearings or edges to woodland, tropical forest, grassland, scrub and semi-desert. Sometimes found in agricultural areas.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 45kg (13kg average)
–Average length: 4m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 25 years
In captivity up to: 40 years

Diet: They are carnivores and so eat meat. They mostly eat small mammals, but will eat any animal or egg that they can fit into their mouths.


Distribution: The Americas, from northern Mexico to southern South America.