Description: The Boa Constrictor is a large, non-venomous snake that averages ten feet in length, though specimens of up to 18.5 feet have been recorded. Fully grown Boa Constrictors weigh between 60 and 100 pounds. There are ten recognized sub-species, each with minor variations in coloration. In general, the Boa Constrictor is tan, yellow, or greenish in coloration with dark brown crossbands and small black spots throughout the body. It is purely solitary in nature and nocturnal.
Habitat/Range: Boa Constrictors are commonly found on the floors of tropical forests and grasslands in Mexico, Central America, and north and central South America. They often stay hidden in hollow logs or abandoned mammal burrows. Boa Constrictors will occasionally take to the water.
Diet: Boa Constrictors will eat anything they can catch including bats, mice, rats, monkeys, birds, and wild pigs. These snakes detect their prey with specialized heat sensors located on the scales. Boa Constrictors kill their prey by wrapping around it and suffocating it with the pressure of their muscular bodies. Prey is swallowed whole and digested by powerful stomach acids. After consuming a large mammal, these snakes will not make another kill for several weeks. They are sometimes kept as pets in South America to control rats.
Breeding: Boa Constrictors are ovoviviparous, which means they give birth to live young. Females give birth to up to 60 baby boas. Each young snake may measure up to 2 feet in length.
Status: Boa Constrictors are still relatively common, but thousands are taken from the wild and sold as pets every year. Boas are also hunted for their skin.