Boidae – Boas

Gigantic non-venomous snakes including anacondas and boas, known for their death-dealing coils

Closely related to Pythons family.

A diverse family of non-venomous constrictor snakes known for their viviparous reproductive strategy, meaning they give birth to live young. These impressive reptiles employ a unique hunting technique, striking their prey and then coiling around it to constrict and suffocate it. Boas possess specialized sensory organs that allow them to monitor their prey’s heartbeat, ensuring its demise before loosening their lethal coils.

Boas are found on every continent except Antarctica and are remarkably adaptable, occupying many habitats, from tropical rainforests to arid deserts. Despite their versatility, they are notably absent from marine environments.

While boas exhibit considerable variation in size, with some species remaining relatively small and slender, others, like the Green Anaconda, attain legendary proportions. Green Anacondas, the largest members of the Boidae family, can reach lengths of up to 7.7 meters (25 feet). Remarkably, there have been reports of individuals exceeding a staggering 14 meters (45 feet) in length, fueling tales of these colossal serpents that have captured the imaginations of people around the world.

Data on snakes are hard to collect, but Boas have declined dramatically in the wild. Habitat loss, resulting from deforestation and urbanization, poses a major threat to their survival. Additionally, boas are targeted by the illegal pet trade, with many individuals captured and sold as exotic pets. Road mortality also contributes to their decline, as vehicles often strike boas while attempting to cross roads.