Also known as the Boa, this cousin of the anacondas, prefers dry land despite being an excellent swimmer. It can be found from Central and South America to north Argentina, the boa's preferred location is tree trunks or abandoned mammal burrows.
- Length up to 4m
- Weight 25 kg
- Lifespan 20 to 30 years
- Diet Carnivorous, feeds especially on mammals
- Habitat Tropical forests, savannahs or swamps
- Reproduction up to 60 cubs
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It is a species with a long body and a broad, triangular head. Mostly brown, it has variable patterns with black and reddish markings. These animals have tiny traces of hind limbs on either side of the cloacal opening, which is a primitive feature.
This species is nocturnal and non-venomous. It can feed on animals much larger than its head because its lower jaw is not attached to the skull. The elasticity of its skin, muscles and ligaments, and the structure of its lower jaw allow it to open its mouth wide.
They sometimes go through periods of inactivity lasting weeks when they are subject to very low temperatures or drought. Juveniles are essentially arboreal, but as they become adults, they spend more time on the ground.
Polygamy occurs in this species, where males mate with multiple females and each female may also have more than one sexual partner per mating season. It reaches sexual maturity between 2 and 3 years of age. The reproductive period extends from April to August, and gestation lasts 5 to 8 months. It is an ovoviviparous species, where females can give birth to up to 60 young per litter, although the average is 25 young.
Despite its conservation status being classified as Low Concern according to the IUCN Red List, Boa constrictors are hunted for their fine skin for ornamental purposes. The increased trade in this species as pets has led to the species being listed in Appendix II of CITES.