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Sea Life, Animals
& Exhibits

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Amazon Tree Boa

(Corallus hortulanis)

Amazon Tree Boas average about five feet in length. They are very slender, enabling distribution of their weight throughout the body which makes residing in and traveling through trees much easier. They vary in color and are usually shades of yellow. These snakes are also known to be very aggressive.


South America found in the Amazon Basin this boa spends the vast majority of its time living in the mid level canopy of the rain forest.


Snakes that hunt using constriction as a means of subduing prey will very quickly grab their prey with their teeth using a very fast strike. The constrictor will quickly wrap coils of their bodies around the prey and squeeze or constrict the prey item. They squeeze tightly so that the prey animal can’t breathe and it suffocates, this process usually requires about 3-4 minutes for the prey animal to be killed. Contrary to popular belief, a snake does not “unhinge” its jaws; the jaws in fact are not actually attached in a mechanical way. Long tendons and muscles connect the upper and lower jaws. The lower jaw is actually made up of two separate bones to further enhance the animal’s ability to manipulate large prey items. Once the snake has the animal past its jaws a series rhythmic muscular contractions then pull the prey down the snake’s throat and into its stomach. They mainly feed on small mammals & birds, occasional lizard.


Live babies are born each year to the female boa.  An average size litter is 5-8 young.  The babies are aggressive feeders.


Tree Boas are arboreal and they have unique adaptations in their scale color that makes them less susceptible to predators. Their color, a mixture of brown, white, ochre, and sometimes gray, camouflages them when they are in trees. The predators include the harpy eagle, humans, saddleback tamarin.