Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Boa Constrictor

Boa constrictor
There are many Boas, and many snakes that are of the constricting variety, but today's animal is the Boa Constrictor. In fact, it is one of those rare living animals that have the exact same English-language common name as their scientific name. Yes, its official name is Boa constrictor!

These snakes are found in Central and South America, where they live in a variety of different habitats. While rainforests are the preferred hang-out spot, they can also be found in more open, semi-arid locations as well.

Boa Constrictors are large snakes, able to grow 13ft in length and weigh upwards of 60lbs! Their coloration varies by location, and there are several different subspecies that can be identified by their shades and patterns.

In general, Boa Constrictors are solitary-- only meeting up to mate. Fertilization happens internally and the females give birth to live young.

Did you know that one of the Boa Constrictor's favorite meals is Bat? They will snap the flying mammals right out of the air and kill them with constriction. Other common prey? Rodents, lizards, birds, and opossums. They locate their meals using heat pits in their heads, and can swallow animals much larger than their heads by unhinging their jaws.

Some subspecies and local Boa Constrictor populations are threatened. They are hunted for their skins and meat, and are taken for the exotic pet industry.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : South and Central America
Size : Length up to 13ft (4m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Boidae -- Genus : Boa -- Species : B. constrictor
Image :  Belizian

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