February 2017’s Animal Of The Month – Boa Constrictors

By February 27, 2017 No Comments

The time has come for the boa constrictor to slither out of the spotlight as our Animal of the Month for February. We had a great time tweeting about this fascinating and popular snake and we hope you enjoyed following us on Twitter @ExoticPetVets. In case you missed any of our tweets, here’s a summary for your reference. Did you know?:

    • The boa constrictor’s scientific name is really easy to remember – it’s boa constrictor.
    • The “boa” part of the boa constrictor’s name means “large snake” in Latin.
    • Boa constrictors are native to northern Mexico, South and Central America as well as several islands in the Caribbean.
    • There are about 9 subspecies of boa constrictor, such as the Colombian boa constrictor which is widely kept in captivity.
    • In the wild, boa constrictors are found in different habitats ranging from rainforests to semi-desert areas.
    • While they’re mostly ground-dwellers, boa constrictors also spend a lot of time in trees, especially when they’re younger.
    • Boa constrictors are good swimmers so they are often found near bodies of water like streams and rivers.
    • Boa constrictors are ambush hunters. They wait for prey to come close enough to them before striking quickly.
    • As their name suggests, boa constrictors put the squeeze on their dinner.
    • Boa constrictors will first grab their prey with their teeth and then wrap around the animal and squeeze tightly.
    • It’s been believed boa constrictors kill their prey by suffocation, but a recent study has come to a different conclusion.
    • New research finds boa constrictor’s grip cuts blood supply to the prey’s major organs which kills faster than suffocation.
    • With his prey trapped in his tight grip, the boa constrictor will unhinge his jaw to swallow it whole.
    • In the wild, boa constrictors will eat small to medium-sized animals and birds.
    • Boa constrictors are very large snakes and can grow to a length of up to 13 feet (3.9 metres).
    • Female boa constrictors are typically larger than their male counterparts.
    • Because of their size, boa constrictors are also heavy snakes and can weigh up to 100 lbs.
    • Female boa constrictors don’t lay eggs. They’re ovoviviparous, which means they give birth to live babies.
    • A female boa constrictor can give birth to up to 60 babies at once, but the average litter size is about 25.
    • Baby boa contrictors are completely independent when they’re born.
    • You’ll never see boa constrictors close their eyes – because they don’t have eyelids.
    • Boa constrictors have a transparent scale called a spectacle or brille over each eye that helps protect their eyes.
    • When boa constrictors shed their skin, the brille is shed too.
    • During the shed cycle, a tear-like substance is secreted under the brille to protect the boa constrictor’s eyes.
    • This tear-like substance causes the boa constrictor’s eyes to cloud over during the shed cycle.
    • When the boa constrictor’s eyes are clouded over his vision is poor. After the skin is shed his eyesight is normal again.
    • There is no reason for people to be scared of boa constrictors. They are non-venomous snakes.
    • It’s rare for a boa constrictor to bite a person. If it does happen, it’s in self-defence because he feels threatened.
    • Boa constrictors won’t eat humans of any size as people (including small children) are too big to be prey.
    • Boa constrictors are typically docile and don’t mind being handled if socialized properly.
Lifelearn Admin

Lifelearn Admin

S. Fontana is a LifeLearn author.

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