Friday, October 18, 2013

Madagascar Tree Boa

Sanzinia madagascarensis
Madagascar Tree Boas are snakes that are endemic to the African island that gives them their name. They actually come in two different color variations, based on their location. In the east, the snakes are grey and green, while in the western parts they are yellow and brown. Two colors, but the same species!

Though the word "tree" also appears in their common name, these snakes are only arboreal while they are hunting. They do so at night, seeking out prey int he pitch black thanks to hit sensitives pits in their mouths. Once they find and capture their prey, they constrict it with their powerful body muscles, leading to a restricted blood flow, heart failure, then death.

All Boas are constrictors, and are non venomous. Another trait that this Snake shares with it's family members? It gives birth to live young. After a six month pregnancy the female snakes give birth to around a dozen foot-long offspring.

Currently the Madagascar Tree Boas are listed as being of Least Concern, but habitat loss has been drastically reducing their historical habitat range. A great deal of their current range is now protected, and they are also being bred in captivity.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Madagascar
Size : Length up to 5ft (1.5m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Boidae -- Genus : Sanzinia -- Species : S. madagascariensis
Image : Axel Strauss

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