Python vs. Boa constrictor

Python vs. Boa constrictor

Python and boa constrictor are types of non-venomous snakes. Boa constrictor is member of boa family, while python belongs to the python family. There are 10 subspecies of boa constrictor that can be found in tropical rainforests, grasslands and semi-deserts of North, Central and South America. Genus python includes 12 species of python that can be found in savannas, rainforests, grasslands and swamps of Africa and Asia. Boa constrictor and python are large snakes which kill their prey by squeezing it till death. Both snakes are on a target of hunters because of their skin which is used for the manufacture of shoes, bags, vests, belts and other fashion accessories. Boa constrictor and python inhabit different geographic areas and they can be easily distinguished via:

Size

Boa constrictor can reach 3 to 13 feet in length and 22 to 60 (rarely up to 100) pounds of weight. Python can reach more than 20 feet in length and up to 200 pounds of weight.

Color

Boa constrictor is usually grey, green or creamy-colored. It has prominent stripes on the head and reddish-brown, oval or saddle-shaped markings on the body. Python can be brown, olive-green, reddish-brown or yellow-colored. Its body is usually covered with net-like markings or dark blotches which ensure camouflage.

Teeth

Python has a pair of extra bones in the upper jaw which bear teeth. Sharp and backward-oriented teeth are arranged in 4 rows in the upper jaw, and 2 rows in the lower jaw. Boa constrictors has less teeth than python. Its teeth are small and hooked.

Lifestyle

Boa constrictor is semi-arboreal animal. Young snakes often climb trees, while adults spend their life on the ground. They often hide inside hollow logs and abandoned burrows of various mammals. Python is terrestrial creature and excellent swimmer. It usually resides near the streams and lakes.

Diet

Small pythons consume animals that are roughly the size of a house cat, while larger pythons hunt and eat bigger animals such as deer or antelope. Diet of most pythons is based on birds, rodents, civets and small primates. Boa constrictor usually eats medium-sized mammals, possums, monkeys, wild pigs, bats, lizards and birds.

Reproduction

Python lays 15 to 80 eggs per season. Female curls her body around eggs and shivers to generate heat essential for the successful incubation. Baby pythons usually emerge from the eggs 2 to 3 months later. Boa constrictor is ovoviviparous species, which means that female gives birth to live babies. Gestation period lasts 100 to 120 days and ends with 10 to 65 babies (25 on average). Boa constrictor is able to produce eggs even when male is not available, via process called parthenogenesis (development of embryos from unfertilized eggs).

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