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Boas: Boidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Boas frequently come out during the day to sunbathe, or bask, which warms their bodies. They are most active, however, at night. Some of their most interesting behaviors are seen in the ways they defend themselves. When threatened, many sand boa species roll the body into a ball with the head buried in the middle, and some of the short-tailed species poke out the tail to trick the attacker into thinking it is actually the head. The snake can survive a bite to the tail much better than a bite to the head. The Fiji Island boa flattens its head and neck much like a cobra, which makes the snake look bigger and may frighten off an attacker. Some of the larger boas hiss, strike, and bite when they feel threatened. They may also ooze a bad-smelling material from the vent area.

During breeding season, the males of some species wrestle over females, sometimes biting one another. In most species, the females give birth to baby snakes. A few, like the Calabar ground boa (sometimes mistakenly called a ground python, which confuses it with the python family), lay eggs.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesBoas: Boidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Boas And People, Conservation Status, Boa Constrictor (boa Constrictor): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT