Although nonvenomous, the boa constrictor is quite a menacing reptile indeed. After all, these carnivorous and opportunistic feeding predators have a tendency to grasp their prey so tightly that they actually suffocate. Despite the intimidating hunting technique and reputation of the boa constrictor, the species actually has a few predators of its own. These muscular snakes are just not always the toughest guys around.
Boa constrictors have several different types of predators, including birds such as eagles. Juvenile boa constrictors are especially susceptible to the dangers of predation, according to the Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. A couple of specific boa constrictor predators include powerful avians such as the white-bellied sea eagle and the wedge-tailed eagle.
Boa constrictors are also occasionally eaten by mammalian and fellow reptilian creatures -- think jaguars and crocodiles, for example. However, not much is known about these sturdy snakes and their predator situations, according to the University of Michigan's Animal Diversity Web.
Defense Tactics Against Predators
Boa constrictors do not hesitate to go into defense mode when faced with the risk of a predator. These snakes typically immediately hide away from their predators, and do so while staying completely still. Because of their coloration, boa constrictors are usually very able to blend into the background. Boa constrictors often give out "back off" noises in an attempt to discourage the predator from coming nearer. They do this by hissing. If hissing isn't sufficient to drive an animal away, boa constrictors generally resort to emitting foul-smelling odors from their anal regions. In the event that that tactic doesn't work, boa constrictors do not hesitate to bite.
Human Beings and Boa Constrictors
Although human beings aren't technically "animals," they are indeed sources of danger for boa constrictors, and some do eat them. Certain groups of indigenous peoples eat the flesh of boa constrictors, indicates SeaWorld. Human beings also often hunt boa constrictors for their skins, which are usually rather intricate and detailed in their appearance.
- National Geographic: Boa Constrictor
- Animal Diversity Web: Boa Constrictor
- Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment: Boa Constrictor
- The Animal Files: Boa Constrictor
- SeaWorld: Boa Constrictor
- Smithsonian National Zoological Park: Boa Constrictor Fact Sheet
- The University of the West Indies at St. Augustine: The Online Guide to the Animals of Trinidad and Tobago
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images