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Boa Constrictor Facts


Top 15 Boa Constrictor Facts

It seems as though there are not any boa constrictor facts that are not either unique, fascinating, frightening or just incredibly intriguing.  Native to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, they are one of the easiest recognized varieties in the world.  Below are the top 15 most interesting boa constrictor facts that are known about these large snakes.

  1. The size of a boa is influenced by both location and availability of food sources.  While some are only 3 feet long others can grow to be 14 feet or longer.
  1. Boa constrictors sense heat through cells that are on their lips.
  1. While these snakes do prefer to live in humid rainforests, they are also found in arid semi-desert country and tropical rainforests as well.
  1. One of the scariest boa constrictor facts is that if they feel the least bit threatened, they will attack and bite in self-defense.  This is often incredibly painful because they do have teeth but rarely considered dangerous.  It is however, very important to make sure that the wound does not get infected.
  1. Boas that are shedding are much more unpredictable than others.  Juveniles are likely to attack more than adults because they shed more often which causes a film to cover their eyes so they cannot see well.
  1. Boa constrictors eat large lizards, small mammals and birds.  Young boas eat smaller bats, birds, mice, amphibians and lizards and as they age they take on larger prey.
  1. These snakes are considered ambush predators.  They lie waiting patiently for the right size and type of prey to come near and then will attack.  They are more than happy to pass on food if it isn’t what they want.  They are also known to hunt actively at night.
  1. The feeding habits of boa constrictors are incredibly violent.  They strike at their prey and grab hold of it with their teeth.  Then they will constrict their victim until it is dead before they will eat it.
  1. Digestion is one of the most interesting topics of boa constrictor facts.  These snakes use their teeth to force their prey down their throat.  At the same time, the muscles move the food toward their stomach.  It typically takes anywhere from four to six days for the food to digest completely depending on the temperature and what the snake ate.  They have an incredibly slow metabolism so they will often not eat again for one week or several months.
  1. A female boa can store sperm inside of her after copulation for up to one year to decide when she will ovulate.  Gestation period can last up to 120 days and she can give birth to up to 65 young in one litter however 35 is the average.
  1. These are one of the most popular types of snakes to keep as pets and with proper handling and care they can become quite tame.
  1. Boas are unfortunately often hunted for their skin to make bags, shoes and other clothing and accessories.
  1. Some areas will release these snakes to help control rodent populations.
  1. The color of these gorgeous snakes can vary greatly.  It often depends on the variety and location.  Traditionally, they are cream or gray based, accented with a reddish or brown pattern that becomes quite prominent near the tail.
  1. When kept in captivity, the boa constrictor can live 30 years or more so they are certainly a long-term commitment.  Proper housing and environment is crucial to their health and happiness.  They require specific cool and warm temperatures, lighting, heating, substrate and humidity.  Cages that become too cold cause pneumonia, poor digestion and other health problems.  These snakes have very specific requirements so anyone considering bringing one into their home as a pet needs to research all of the boa constrictor facts first.