Facts about the Boa Constrictor
The boa is a common name given to a group of non poisonous snakes of the boa family. The most popular among the boas are the boa constrictors.
The term constrictor implies that they kill their preys by squeezing them to death before swallowing them in whole. The boa constrictor is the most popular kind of boa found in the thick jungles of South and Central America. Boa constrictors are usually gray or somehow yellowish and dark brown patterned line with a reddish light- yellow coloured tail. The boa family consists of very large snakes that are found all over the world. Adult boa constrictors could measure up to 10 ft in length. However, some boas are not large; they measure up to only 50 cm long at maturity. Boas use the coils of their body to suffocate their preys to death before swallowing them. Depending on the size of its prey, a boa may take several weeks or longer to digest its food. Scientifically, boas belong to the family Boidae. The boa constrictor is classified as Boa constrictor, the emerald tree boa as Corallus canina, and the rubber boa as Charina bottae.
Types of Boa
There are different kinds of snakes under the boa family: They are - the boa constrictors; the brightly coloured emerald tree boas that live in trees and have strong, prehensile tails, with a triangular, curved front teeth and elliptical eye pupils; the smaller rubber boas which is found in Washington, British Columbia and Montana, having shinny brown skin that resembles rubber and a burrowing animal with a blunt head and tail. Due to the resemblance of the head to the tail, people hardly identifies which part is the head or the tail, hence it’s sometimes called the two-headed snake.
The boa family is characterized by vestigial hipbones and hind legs, which can be seen externally as a pair of movable spurs. Boas are found worldwide, except in Australia. Most boas are different from several other snakes in that the boa gives birth to live young boas while many other families of snakes reproduces through laying of eggs which will hatch into young snakes. Boas and pythons are often confused, but they differ in several ways, primarily in the skeleton. Boa constrictors, anacondas and pythons are sometimes mistaken for each other. People mistake large boa constrictors for anaconda but there is a great difference between the two.
The anaconda, though in the boa family belongs to its own class while the python is of a different family. The common characteristic among them is that they kill their preys through squeezing or constricting. They can stretch their jaws wide apart to swallow animals larger than their heads.