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Interesting facts about the boa constrictor

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We found 17 interesting facts about boa constrictor

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It is the most famous member of constrictors, non-venomous snakes that incapacitate their victims by constricting around their body. Although they appear dangerous, they do not pose a serious threat to humans. The most common injuries they inflict on humans are bites, which are painful but not life-threatening.

Their interesting appearance makes them popular among breeders. Decades ago, most boas were caught from the wild, but fortunately, commercially available boas now mostly come from farms.

1

The boa constrictor is a member of the constrictor family. There are eight subspecies of boa constrictor.

Constrictors are a family of 49 species divided into 12 genera. The first constrictors appeared on Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period, about 70,5 million years ago.
2

They live in South America and on islands off the coast of this continent.

Found in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, French Guiana, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. Boa constrictors also live in southern Florida, but these snakes were brought here by humans.
3

They are found in a variety of environments, from tropical forests to semi-deserts.

However, they definitely prefer forested areas that are rich in food, full of shelter, and reasonably moist and warm. Boas readily inhabit medium-sized mammal burrows, which protect them from potential predators.
4

They are nocturnal.

However, they can also be found during the day, lying in the sun, accumulating energy. When darkness falls, they go in search of food, where they find shelter, where they lie in wait for approaching prey and attack by surprise.
5

They are solitary and usually gather in groups during mating season.

They spend most of their time on the ground, although they can climb and can sometimes be found in trees.
6

These are predators that mainly hunt from cover. When there is not much potential prey in their environment, they are forced to actively hunt.

Their diet consists mainly of birds and small to medium sized mammals. Although their prey is usually rodent-sized animals, they are capable of hunting prey up to 50 cm in length. Due to their size, juveniles often prey on amphibians, lizards, mice, small birds and bats.
7

The boa constrictor first attacks its victim, sinking its teeth into it, and then begins to wrap its body around it.

Only when the prey dies does the boa constrictor begin to eat, devouring the prey whole. Contrary to what the name of these animals might suggest, victims most often die as a result of obstruction of blood circulation to key organs of the body, such as the brain and heart, rather than as a result of suffocation.
8

They are very good swimmers.

They can often be found near rivers and streams.
9

Their body coloration is very useful in hunting and often matches their environment.

Their skin color consists of brown and gray-cream spots. The dark brown spots are less pronounced around the head and become more intense as they approach the tail.
10

Boas grow up to 3 meters in length, with females larger than males.

The average size of females is from 2,1 to 3, males from 1,8 to 2,4 m. The weight of females ranges from 10 to 15 kg. The largest representatives of boas weigh more than 45 kilograms.
11

Boas have two lungs, of which only one is used.

The left lung is smaller in size and is not used for breathing, which is carried out exclusively by the right lung. This is a rather unusual feature among snakes, as most snakes have completely lost their left lung.
12

The mating season lasts from April to August. During this time, one male has sex with many females.

It is the female who chooses her partner, first luring him with pheromones, and then fighting and assessing his ability to procreate. Copulation can last from a few minutes to several hours, and the sperm deposited by the male can remain in the female's body for up to a year.
13

Boas are ovoviviparous. Gestation lasts between 100 and 120 days, and litter size varies greatly.

The young can range from 10 to 65 (average 25), some of which are unhatched or unfertilized eggs. The length of young boas at birth ranges from 38 to 51 cm. The vast majority of these snakes reproduce sexually, although hermaphrodite reproduction has also been observed.
14

They reach sexual maturity at the age of 3-4 years, when their length exceeds 180 cm.

Reaching puberty does not stop growth. Boas grow throughout their lives, although at a slower rate than during adolescence.
15

Among boas there are also albino varieties.

They are not common in nature, but are very popular among breeders, who cross them with other individuals to produce new color varieties.
16

Although they are highly effective predators, they also have many natural enemies.

Most often, boa constrictors become victims of eagles, hawks, alligators, caimans and people.
17

The boa constrictor is not in danger of extinction.

Its population has declined only in some areas where they are caught for trade or predated by predators. In Florida it is considered an invasive species.
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