What Is the Life Cycle of a Boa Constrictor?

life-cycle-boa-constrictor Credit: Wayne Lynch/All Canada Photos/Getty Images

The life cycle of a boa constrictor consists of the baby stage and the reproductive stage. Female boas bear live offspring that survive independently from birth. Newborn boas immediately hide and begin hunting for food. Boas reach sexual maturity between 2 and 4 years of age and lead solitary lives unless they are breeding.

Boa constrictors live in a variety of habitats from tropical forests to semi-deserts. They are good climbers and spend much of their time in trees where their prehensile tails help them climb.

Boas use an ambush method to stalk their prey. When hunting, they stay still and hidden, flicking the air with their tongues to catch the scent of their prey. Boas also use heat-seeking scales around their mouths to sense when their dinner is near. Once the boa locates its prey, it bites and holds with its teeth while wrapping its body around the victim. Boas do not have fangs or venom, but have many small teeth to perform this task. When the snake has coiled its body several times around the prey, it squeezes the coils tighter and tighter until the animal suffocates. Boas unhinge their jaws to swallow their prey whole. These snakes primarily feast on lizards, birds, bats and rodents.