DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Boa constrictor swallowing rat, South America. Boa constrictors capture their prey by seizing it with their sharp, backward-pointing teeth. The prey is then killed by constriction and swallowed whole. Boa constictors are found all over South America, from Mexico to northern Argentina. They are ground dwellers and are particularly prevalent in mountain forests. They are usually 3-4 m in length and weigh about 60 kg. They present no danger to humans and, in some areas of Brazil, are kept as farm pets to control the rodent population.
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