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|Image Info||Original File Name: Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus caninus)_Facing_Forward.jpg Resolution: 2646x1909 File Size: 1548566 Bytes Date: 2006:07:12 11:29:34 Camera: E8700 (NIKON) F number: f/2.8 Exposure: 10/12 sec Focal Length: 411/10 Upload Time: 2007:10:05 13:30:22|
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|Subject||Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus caninus) - Wiki|
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Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus caninus) - Wiki
Emerald tree boa
The Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus caninus) is a species of bright green snake that lives in the rainforests of South America.
Emerald tree boas are typically a shade of emerald green in color with a white irregular zigzag stripe down the back and a yellow underside. The bright coloration and markings are very distinctive among South American snakes. Juveniles are extremely variable in color, and are often orange or yellow, with irregular spotting.
Emerald tree boas have many morphological differences based on locality, enough that some herpetologists have considered whether they should be classified as subspecies. Specimens from the Amazon River basin tend to grow the largest, attaining lengths of 7-9 feet (2.1-2.7 m), while the overall average size is closer to 6 feet (1.8 m). Emerald tree boas from the southern end of their range in Peru tend to be darker in color.
It appears very similar to the green tree python (Morelia viridis), from southeast Asia and Australia, but they are only very distantly related, and are an example of convergent evolution. Physical differences include the scales on its head, and the location of the heat pits around the mouth in the boa.
Hunting and Diet
The emerald tree boa is a nocturnal carnivore. During the day, the snake typically coils itself on top of a branch, with its head perched at the center. However at night, it will remain coiled on its branch, but will extend its neck pointing beneath it, curled as if about to strike. It will then hold still in this position, waiting for prey to approach directly underneath it. This snake catches food with its long frontal fanged teeth, pulling its prey in and constricting to asphyxiation. Like all boas, it swallows its prey whole, head first. The boa's top and bottom jaws are attached to each other with stretchy ligaments, letting the snake swallow animals wider than itself. Snakes don't chew their food, they digest it with very strong acids in the snake's stomach.
In the wild, the Emerald Tree Boas diet primarily consists of small mammals, but they have been known to eat some smaller bird species as well as lizards and frogs. Due to the extremely slow metabolism of this species, the frequency of which it eats is much further spaced than other ground dwelling boas. A healthy, properly hydrated Emerald Tree Boa, may go two months or more between meals with little or no change in its size or body mass.
In captivity, the adult Emerald Tree Boa's diet should be closely monitored. Unlike other boas that can easily take food items many times the size of its head, the Emerald Tree Boa should be fed a small rat or mouse. Although it can physically swallow larger animals, feeding anything much larger usually results in regurgitation. A properly sized meal should not be noticeable as a lump. The frequency of feeding should be 15-23 days - and then, after it has defecated a previous meal. Temperature and humidity are extremely important for the Emerald Tree Boa to digest its food. For approximately five days after feeding, the animal should not be exposed to temperatures above 90F or below 70F. An ideal temperature is 78F at night and 82F during the day. Humidity should be no lower than 85%. Failure to keep such diet can result in impaction, regurgitation and undue stress.
Like all snakes, the emerald tree boa is cold-blooded; they are the same temperature as the environment. The emerald tree boa grows to be about 7.25 feet (2.2m) long. The forked tongue senses odors. There are heat sensors under the upper lip; these help the snake locate warm-blooded prey, like mammals and birds.
This snake bears live young. Neonates are deep brown-orange with white bars, and are about 1 ft long.
The emerald tree boa is a strictly arboreal snake, spending its days in a characteristic coil over a tree branch, and hanging down at night, ambushing prey. It had been thought that the primary diet of the Emerald Tree Boa was birds, however studies of the contents of the stomachs & intestine have found that the majority of their diet is made of small mammals. Juvenile and Neonates have been known to eat small reptiles as well, such as lizards and frogs. The Emerald Tree Boa is ovoviviparous, having up to 20 young at a time.
The emerald tree boa is found in the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, French Guiana, Guyana, and Surinam.
The emerald tree boa is readily available in the exotic pet trade, and though being frequently captive bred, wild caught specimens are still fairly common. Most specimens found for sale are imported from the northern end of the species' range. They are considered challenging to keep properly.
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