Boa Constrictor Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kristina Washington-Morris

Kristina has taught a variety of elementary classes and has a master's degree in elementary education.

Many people are scared of snakes. This is because some venomous snakes have deadly bites. Boa constrictor snakes use a different skill to kill their prey though. This lesson explores facts and interesting information about boa constrictors.

What is a Boa Constrictor?

A Boa Constrictor
boa constrictor

Have you ever been on a hike or at a park and seen a snake? Would you be frightened if you found a snake while playing outside? Snakes are some of the most feared reptiles on the planet. People are usually afraid a venomous snake may bite them, but many snakes are not venomous. The boa constrictor is a non-venomous snake found in both Central and South America. These snakes may not be venomous, but they are definitely feared predators of their habitat.

Boa constrictors get their name from their ability to constrict and strangle their prey. Their jaws are filled with sharp teeth to help them keep their food in place while they wrap their long, strong body around their prey. A boa constrictor is so powerful it can get a tight squeeze on a struggling animal and can keep a grip until the animal suffocates.

Adult boa constrictors usually grow to be about 13 feet long. That's longer than the length of two beds. A boa constrictor measuring 18 feet was once found. That snake would be longer than most pickup trucks! These snakes aren't light either-they can weigh between 60 and 100 pounds. Boa constrictors can be a variety of colors-red, yellow, green, or light brown. They can also have stripes, ovals, or even diamond patterns.

Oval Markings on a Boa Constrictor
boa constrictor

What do Boa Constrictors Eat?

Boa constrictors are carnivores. Carnivores eat other animals. Boa constrictors are known for eating birds, lizards, opossums, rats, monkeys, and even wild pigs. Boa constrictors can open their mouths extremely wide, which is important because they swallow their prey whole. They don't have to eat again for weeks if they eat a very large animal. It would be strange if you didn't have to eat for a whole month after a big dinner!

A Boa Constrictor Swallows its Prey Whole
boa constrictor eating

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