|Endangered Species: Boa Constrictor
A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Jennifer Christiansburg Elementary School
Christiansburg, VA, U.S.A.
Why Study This Topic?
What I want to find out is the Boa Constrictor's habitat;
it's length, ability, strength,and how dangerous it is. I want to know
if it is easy for them to find food, and if it is, what do they eat? Why
do I want to know this? I'll tell you. I think snakes are interesting,
even if I think they're scary. Boa Constrictors sound amazing, and that's
why I'd enjoy studying them.
What Was Already Known
I already knew Boa Constrictors were dangerous. I
knew they could wrap themselves around animals and suffocate them.They
are likely to crush one's bones by doing this. Boa Costrictors are endangered
probably because humans are scared of them and want to get rid of them.
I know that Boa Constrictors are able to grow to be heavy snakes. These
are snakes you don't want to meet up with in the wild.
Search for Information
On the internet, I learned that Boa Constrictors are
typically grey or silver with a series of brown or deep red saddles along
their back. They are found in the warmest parts of the Americas, from Mexico
to Argentina,and can reach lengths up to eighteen feet. Boas feed on birds,
reptiles, and mammals. A Boa Constrictor will sieze its prey with his mouth,
swiftly coil around it, and tighten its grip so that the victim can not
expand its chest to breathe. Then, he will eat the victim.
Boa Constrictors are some of the best known snakes.
The Boa Constrictor gets its name from the way it kills its prey. It coils
around the victim until it is smothered.
The Boa Constrictor is one of the 50 different kinds
of boas. They are closely related to the Pythons. The prey of Boas, whether
warm-blooded or cold-blooded,is killed by constriction. Ordinarily, the
snake places two or three coils of its body around the chest of the prey
animal. Then, each time the victim inhales his breath, the Boa takes op
more slack. After three or four breaths, there is no more slack, and the
victim is swallowed by the Boa.
Description of Plant or Animal
The Boa Constrictor are usually grey or silver with
a brown or deep red pattern on their backs. They can be as long as eighteen
feet and they can grow to be veryheavy. Boa constrictors are long and scaly.
Their skin is often mistaken to be slimy. That is not true. The Boa Constrictor's
skin is as dry as you can imagine. Like all snakes, Boa Constrictors have
a transparent lens over their eyes. This is called a spectacle. Also like
all snakes, Boa Constrictors shed their skin, leaving on them a shiny brand
new coat of skin.
Boa Constrictors eat many things. They eat birds,
mice, and other small animals. They live in jungles and forests. The chances
of seein them are very small. The Boa Constrictor's shelters are usually
under rocks or small caves. These habitats are in Mexico to Argentina.
The Boa Constrictor gets its water from nearby streams, rivers, and ponds.
In the winter, no matter if they live under rocks or in caves, snakes like
the Boa Constrictor hibernate in caves.
The Boa Constrictor's enemy is the jaguar. The jaguar
actually eats the Boa Constrictor. Boa Constrictors are forest colors so
they blend into the darkly forests that surround them. These colors are
so the Boa Constrictor can hide from his enemies like the jaguar, or just
from brave hunters that want to harm them.
Reasons for Endangerment
Boa Constrictors are endangered because of predators,
cold weather and believe it or not, humans. Humans cut down lots of jungles
and forests where these snakes might live.They build lots homes, and by
doing this, they are taking away the Boa Constrictor's homes. The Jaguar
is the enemy that eats the Boa. The Boas could be endangered because the
Jaguars are hungry. Also, it could be because of cold weather. Snakes are
cold-blooded and could freeze to death in the cold.
Ever since ancient times, reptiles such as snakes
have lived on the earth. When humans started living on earth, snakes like
Boa Constrictors were driven away because there were more bare places with
no jungles or forests, and that meant endangerment to some of the snakes
like the Boa. There was more pollution, noise, and less homes for the Boa
Constrictors. So now, you can see why they're endangered. Sometimes, when
you try to make the world a better place, you don't stop and think of what
you are destroying.
Many actions have been attempted to keep the Boa Constrictors.
Some, like fighting, to not cut down so many trees, and not to build so
many buildings. Everybody has a right to live, even the Boa Constrictors.
Future actions could be to not have as many hunters, (so they won't shoot
the Boa Constrictors) and to learn to care for them so you convince people
not to harm them in any way.
What Was Learned
I learned many things about the Boa Constrictor. Where
it lives, its features, how it lives,(all mentioned above) and many other
things. I am glad I learned this much because I think it is important to
learn about wildlife so you can understand even more than you already do.
I learned that the Boa Constrictor will not necessarily attack you, but
is more likley to attack his victim.
Conclusions From Research
From learning about the Boa Constrictor, I can tell
people about them and they could try to help keep them around. This research
can help me by understanding Boa Constrictors more and what they feel like.
I can understand that sometimes they might be as scared of humans as humans
are scared of them.
Lindblom, S., and Spence, J. (1990.) The Golden Book
Of Snakes And Other Reptiles, A Golden Book, New York, N.Y.
Encyclopedia Americana (1992) Grolier Inc. Danbury, Conneticut
here for more information on the Boa Constrictor!
Return to Reptile page.
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© copyright 1997
Last updated on May 29, 1998