Tag Archive: boas

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boida (Boas)

Genus/species: Eunectes murinus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Gigantic, heavy-bodied, dark green boa with dark spots. A distinctive stripe runs from the rear edge of the eye, diagonally downwards to the back of the head. The stripe is edged with black and varies in coloration, from greenish to orange. Eyes and nasal openings are on top of their heads, allowing them to lay in wait for prey while remaining nearly completely submerged. The female dwarfs the male and is almost five times heavier.
Like all snakes, anaconda have a forked tongue they helps them locate prey and mates and to navigate their environment, in conjunction with the tubular Jacobson’s organ in the roof of the snake’s mouth.

SIZE: Up to more than 29 feet (8.8 meters), weigh more than 227 kilograms (550 pounds) and measure more than 30 cm (12 in) (30 centimeters) in diameter.

Anaconda 8629891977_66e2cd6195_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT South America: Amazon and Orinoco drainages from Colombia and Venezuela to East Bolivia and Central Brazil. Associated strongly with watercourses, swamps and other freshwater locations.

DIET IN THE WILD: They feed on any prey that they can kill and swallow including monkeys, deer, peccaries, pacus, agoutis, birds, fish, caiman and turtles. Prey usually killed by constriction; prey suffocates and often drowning in water. Usually feed in water. Jaws attached by stretchy ligaments allow them to swallow their prey whole, no matter the size, and they can go weeks or months without food after a big meal. Primarily a lie-in-wait predator.

Academy Diet: Frozen/thawed rabbits (P. Dwight Biologist).


REPRODUCTION: Green anacondas are ovoviviparous (eggs hatch in the mother and snakes are born alive). They are polyandrous breeding with multiple-male aggregations of up to 13 males. Female anacondas retain their eggs and give birth to two to three dozen live young. Baby snakes are about 0.6 meters (2 ft). After mating, the female may eat one or more of her mating partners, as she does not take in food for up to seven months after birth.

PREDATORS:Caimen. Jaguars, and green anacondas.

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Lives to over 29 years.

REMARKS: The anaconda is, pound for pound, the largest snake in the world. The reticulated python, can reach slightly greater lengths, but the enormous girth of the anaconda makes it almost twice as heavy. Can remained submerged for a very long time lying in wait for its next meal.

Some indigenous peoples of Brazil and Peru use green anacondas body parts for magical and spiritual properties, in ritualistic purposes.

Green anacondas are among the only snakes that can reach the proportions necessary to possibly kill and consume a human being. However, attacks by green anacondas are rare due to low.

The California Academy of Sciences specimen is a female. Length/wt 2013: 13 ft 11 inches long and weight 92 lbs.
2008 she was 3m (10 feet) long and weighed 90 lbs.


Color of Life Note: The dark brownish-green Anaconda demonstrates concealment by laying hidden in the murky waters of the Amazon. It is more visible at the California Academy of Sciences exhibit water which is markedly more transparent.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Flooded Amazon Anaconda Exhibit 2018

U. of Michigan Animal diversity Web https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Eunectes_murinus/#D1CC06F0-924A-11E1-9D4D-002500F14F28

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/794661/overview

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae

Genus/species: Boa constrictor constrictor

Red-tailed Boa IMG_0186

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The background color is cream or brown that is marked with dark “saddle-shaped” bands. The head of a boa constrictor has 3 distinctive stripes. First is a line that runs dorsally from the snout to the back of the head. Second, there is a dark triangle between the snout and the eye. Third, this dark triangle is continued behind the eye, where it slants downward towards the jaw. However, there are many variations on appearance.
Length to 13 feet (3.9 m) as adults. Generally between 2 and 3 meters(6.5 – 10 feet) in length. Weigh 40 to 50 pounds.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Exclusive to the New World (Mexico to Argentina). Boa constrictors are both terrestrial and arboreal. They are found in deserts, wet tropical forests, open savanna, and cultivated fields, and from sea level to moderate elevation having the least need for water of all boas.

DIET IN THE WILD: They ate aglyphous, meaning they do not possess any elongated fangs. Instead, they have rows of long, recurved teeth of about the same size. Teeth are continuously replaced. They are carnivores eating small mammals, including bats, and birds or anything that fits in their mouths. Prey are killed by constriction and swollen whole taking 4-6 days to digest.

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization is internal. The male uses pelvic spurs (hind leg remnants found on either side of the cloacal opening) to aid the use of hemipenes (double penis) for cloacal insertion. Females give birth to live young (ave. 25 in number).

Red-tailed Boa 2775385563_c91e7827ff_o

MORTALITY: Lifespan, 25-30 years.

PREDATORS  Include humans, jaguars, and crocodile 

CONSERVATION : IUCN Red list; not evaluated.

REMARKS: In Mexico and South America, they are valued as destroyers of rodents. B. constrictor constrictor have been “domesticated” for this reason.

Color of Life Note: The Red-Tailed Boa demonstrates concealment with its beige and dark brown markings hiding it in the filtered light coming through tree branches and leaves.


California Academy of Sciences Flooded Amazon Exhibit 2015

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-VA

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449603666/

U. of Michigan Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/ site/ accounts/ information/ Boa_constrictor.html.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park  http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ReptilesAmphibians/Facts/FactSheets/Boaconstrictor.cfm


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae (Boas; non-venomous, constricting snakes)

Genus/species: Sanzinia madagascariensis


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Endemic throughout the island of Madagascar, excluding the very southwest corner. Occurs in 2 color variations; those in the eastern part of the range are green to grayish-green, while in some parts of the western range they are yellow, orange, and brown. The green variety is somewhat smaller than the western form. Max length: about 2 m or 6 ft. Females are larger than males.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic throughout the island of Madagascar, excluding the very southwest corner. Live in a variety of forest habitats, ranging from lowland tropical forests, to humid upland forests, to dry forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: It is a nocturnal snake, feeding on small mammals (including bats!) and birds, seeking them out using the heat-sensitive pits around its mouth that enable it to hunt for warm-blooded prey in complete darkness. Prey are constricted by the powerful coils of the boa which tighten as the prey struggles, restricting the blood flow to the heart and ultimately causing circulatory failure. Not venomous.

REPRODUCTION: Like all boas, females give birth to live young.Reach maturity at 3 years old, giving usually gives birth to fewer than 12  living young, which are red-colored to deter predators.

CONSERVATION:  IUCN Red List; Least Concern (LC)   Appendix I of CITES. Habitat loss through deforestation for agriculture and human settlement has restricted these boas mostly to protected areas of Madagascar. 

LOCATION: Rainforest  Madagascar MA06


Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/795591/details

ARKive http://www.arkive.org/madagascar-tree-boa/sanzinia-madagascariensis/

California Academy of Sciences Docent Training Manual on Rainforests 2014

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae
Subfamily: Boinae

Genus/species: Epicrates cenchria

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Brazilian rainbow boa is one of about 12 named subspecies of rainbow boa. Color is brown or reddish brown with three parallel black stripes on the top of the head and large black rings down the back that give the appearance of dorsal blotches. There is a great deal of variation in color and marking among individuals of this species. Length is four to six feet (1.2 to 1.8 m).

Brazilian Rainbow Boa15580871426_15f0f85863_k


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Amazon Basin, and in coastal Guiana, French Guyana, and Suriname and southern Venezuela most often in humid forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: Rodents, birds, and possibly some forms of aquatic life and lizards.

REPRODUCTION: Babies are born live in litters of two to 35 (viviparous). They are usually 15 to 20 inches (38 to 51 cm) long.

LIFESPAN: To 20 years in capativity.

REMARKS: E. cenchria is named because of the iridescent sheen imparted by microscopic ridges on their scales, which act like prisms to refract light into rainbows.

Brazilian Rainbow Boa15580871146_3fc18628e1_k



 National Zoo http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ReptilesAmphibians/Facts/FactSheets/Brazilianrainbowboa.cfm

The Reptile Database  http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Epicrates&species=cenchria

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1nJ

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/15580871426/

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