Family - Boidae

(Boas)

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Snakes of the boidae family are a group of non-venomous constrictor snakes that are commonly called boas. There are 43 known species of boas that are recognized around the world today. Adult boids can be from medium to a large size, but the females are usually always bigger than the males. Unlike many other snakes, these constrictor snakes have 2 functional lungs where other snakes have one. Boid snakes also have toothless premaxilla and cloacal spurs.

Boas can be found or located in Africa, Europe, Asia, America, and can also be found in some pacific islands. Boas can be found in any habitat known to host snakes of any kind, except for marine habitats. Some boas, for example the Arabian sand boa, have adjusted to living in extremely dry and hot climates.

Since they are constrictor snakes they are known as ambush hunters. Large boid snakes attack and wrap their huge scaly bodies around their prey to constrict or suffocate them. Then it swallows its food whole by stretching the mouth to its full extent. Once the food is swallowed it may take days or sometimes even weeks to fully digest it.

Unlike pythons, which lay eggs, boas give birth to their young. When males look for females to breed, some male boids may fight in competing to breed with the female. If the female boa constrictor snake is large it can give birth to 30-40 living young.

Author: Lawrence F

Published: 12/2009

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