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  • Cari Mackey

Do you know an awkward hugger? You know, the one who hugs a little too long?


You're one of two people in this world when you see this photo (not to be too judgmental), you either love her and are marveled by her or you cringe and can barely look at her. Thankfully, most people find her quite simply sssssss-pectacular!


Now that I have your attention if you have made it this far, you guessed it; this is a Boa Constrictor, also called a Red-Tailed Boa, one of the easiest snakes to identify. She is about 9 feet long, and looks to be well fed or potentially pregnant.

Don't worry, they cause more good than harm to humans. In fact, they are harmless to humans. Cute cats and other small animals however, may fall prey to their overbearing hugs but don't worry, we keep an eye on Tila so hopefully the only squeezes she's getting are by all the kids that she loves so much.


Seeing this beauty during the day was quite a gift of nature because they, like most snakes and jungle creatures prefer the cover of darkness to go about their business.


Now, if you're like me, you thought a Boa would wind its way around its prey and then squeeze the breath out of it until it suffocated. We weren't too far off but not right either.


They actually strike at their prey and bite using backward facing teeth (aglyphous - remember that for your next scrabble game), and then wind around them super fast ultimately killing their prey by constricting and cutting off their blood supply and stopping the heart. A Boa can feel the heartbeat of their prey which is how they know when to loosen their grip. Unlike an awkward hugger who keeps holding on after you let go a while back.


To reproduce, the males insert sperm into the females who then carry an average of 25 babies inside a yolk sac inside the mothers body. After their gestation period of 5-8 months, the mothers give birth to live babies. They don't lay eggs as I had thought. It's true...I have a LOT to learn. These beautiful snakes can live up to 30 years in the wild and like most animals, their largest threat is habitat loss but they are also widely huntied for their skins.

Though they do have a nose which is used to smell, their primary sense of smell is actually through the flicking of their tongue to organs located inside their mouth. They have good eyesight and detect movement and sound using vibrations through their jawbones which are connected to their ear bones inside their skull.


Enjoy these beauties from a distance while watching them in their natural habitat. Never approach wild animals, and most definitely do not kill them please.


Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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