Boa constrictor is the scientific name of a mighty serpent that belongs to the Boas family, which also includes the anaconda and the python. The boa constrictor is particularly common in the rainforests of Central and South America. It can also be found in Madagascar, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji. It prefers moist environments, although it can be found even in arid and rocky climates. The coloring of the Boa constrictor is dependent on the territory of its origin. The most common is a gray or yellowish color with a dark brown and distinctive design on its back. There are also, striped albino boa constrictors, although they are very rare.
The boa constrictor has vertical pupils and on average, its body measures three meters in length, although some can be as long as six meters. Typically, female boas are larger than the males. The non-venomous boa is characterized by powerful muscles, which allow it to wrap its prey in its coils and crush it. Thus causing death by asphyxiation, hence its name, constrictor, or strangler. It is the most active at night and it spends most of its time in the trees. It is able to locate prey even at a considerable distance. Before it starts hunting, the boa constrictor moves its tongue in the air in order to capture the odorous particles emitted by small birds and mammals, which make up its diet. The largest boa is even able to hunt large mammals, such as sheep and goats. The boa swallows its prey whole. This is possible because its lower jaw is not joined to its upper jaw. Mating takes place between October and April and can last up to one month. The male locates the female, thanks to the particular smell that it emits through her sexual organs, which is located at the end of its intestine.
The mating ritual is unusual. The male initially stimulates the female with small spores and then penetrates. The male presents two emipene, or two small penises, that he uses one at a time. The gestation period of a female boa lasts about six months, after which it gives birth to anywhere from 15 to 40 children. Once the snakes are born, they instantly become independent from their mothers. The name comes from the Latin bos, which means ox or cow. The ancients, in fact, mistakenly believed that these snakes could even swallow cattle. Due to its size, many legends were born about the aggressiveness of the boa. In fact, these snakes are very shy, and, if kept in the house, have a docile nature.