Friday, August 20, 2010

Creature Feature: Dumeril's Ground Boa.

You can tell that I was trying to avoid this one. After all, unless the week dictates otherwise, you all are usually subjected to a dosage of at least one weird snake per every seven days. This often involves me going on some rant that only makes sense to herpetologists.

Unfortunately for you, Madagascar has no such limits. If I ever do an Australia Week (or two), there will be even more snakes. You're lucky getting off with only one when Madagascar is concerned.

Dumeril's Boa on Display by =KuroKarasu on deviantART

Photographs do not do the Dumeril's boa (Boa dumerili) justice. I have seen these snakes up close. They are amazing to behold; even my mom liked them! They have a floral pattern on their backs and real kanji tattoos decorating their sides.

I'm not even kidding. The pattern on the sides of a Dumeril's boa looks uncannily like the Chinese symbol (and Japanese kanji for) old.

Kinda creepy.

Dumeril's boas live in the semi-arid regions of Madagascar. They eat birds, lizards, small mammals and occasionally other snakes. As with all boids, females are larger than males. These snakes, like almost everything else on Madagascar, is threatened by habitat loss. Most captive specimens are at least somewhat inbred due to trade restrictions.

Besides being beautiful, Dumeril's boas are one of few Old World boa species. As a rule of thumb, boas are the only constrictors in the New World, and pythons are the only constrictors in the Old World. Africa is smack dab between the two areas; it should come as no surprise that it is home to both constrictor families. Exception to the rule is still exceptional.

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