Boa Constrictors have a varied diet that includes rats, large lizards, bats, mongoose, and squirrels, and even birds.
Boa constrictors, however, rarely eat in the wild. They have evolved to have a slow metabolism. Some of them may not eat for weeks or even months. In captivity, the same principle applies, but some owners feed their boas small animals, so they have to eat regularly.
What Boa Constrictors Eat:
- Large Lizards
Foods That Boa Constrictors Eat
Boas eat a wide array of animals. They are obligate carnivores. Their diet depends on their environment and their size.
Small boas typically eat small amphibians, but large ones will attack large mammals. Some boas even try to eat crocodiles and big cats.
For a long time, people thought that boa constrictors used suffocation to take down their prey. However, scientists proved in recent years that they kill by stopping the blood from flowing.
1. Large Lizards
Some Boa Constrictors can prey on monitor lizards, one of the largest lizards in the world. Monitor lizards can grow to more than 10 feet, so boa constrictors typically prey on hatchlings in the wild.
The population of lizards is huge in the wild. Small boas will typically prey on them but eventually graduate to bigger meals as they get older.
Opossums are marsupials that live in the Western Hemisphere. Boa constrictors are obligate carnivores and may feed on opossums in the wild.
There are many documented videos of pythons and other snakes eating a possum. Boas, being obligate carnivores, are no different; they will strike possums if given a chance.
In the wild, boas typically eat birds and eggs if they can get their “hands” on them. In captivity, it is ill-advised to feed birds or bird eggs to boas or any snakes. Birds carry a myriad of parasites that can be passed on to the snake.
There is scientific documentation of a rainbow boa eating a bat. The scientists saw the occurrence in the Castillo Cave in central Ecuador.
The bat in question was a vampire bat. It was dumbfounding, as these bats live between 2,400 and 5,000 meters in elevation. Their wingspan can reach 20 inches or 50 centimeters.
While a mongoose is not afraid of snakes, it is no match to a boa. Mongooses have developed immunity to certain snake venom, but the boa does not have venom. A boa constrictor relies on its size and muscle power to take down its prey.
Boas eat mongooses in the wild if they are available. Just like any prey, the boa must lie in wait to strike a mongoose. It can be a tough challenge because mongooses have great reflexes.
Mice are the most common prey that boas eat in captivity. Mice are easy to breed, so the supply is plenty. In the wild, boas eat all kinds of rodents that they can find. Rats and mice are also easy prey. They often are oblivious to snakes.
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Do Boa Constrictors Eat Humans?
Boa constrictors do not eat humans. Although they can grow up to 13 feet, their size does not enable them to eat humans. Also, humans have shoulders at a right angle from the head or neck, which would be difficult to swallow.
What this means is that a snake must have a mouth wide enough to open to swallow a human from shoulder to shoulder. There is no living snake that can open its mouth that wide. If anything, a boa can swallow a small human, but not an adult.
Do Boa Constrictors Eat Sloths?
Boa constrictors can eat sloths, but it’s a rare occurrence. Sloths have strong arms and sharp claws that can help them get away from boa attacks. In addition, adult sloths are too large for most boa constrictors to fit in their mouths.
Like humans, sloths have broad shoulders. Snakes can quickly kill them but would have a hard time swallowing them.
Do Boa Constrictors Eat Toucans?
The boa constrictor is a known predator of the toucan. Toucans are birds, but they are not good at flying. Typically, they spend most of their time in trees. They also have a habit of hopping to get around, making them easy prey for a boa constrictor.
Toucans typically nest in hollow trees, mostly the ones abandoned by woodpeckers. On the other hand, boas are expert tree climbers. What they do is sit and wait for the toucan. They ambush the toucan close to its nest.
What makes toucans a boa favorite is that the toucans typically live in groups. They lie together in a single hollow. The more prey there are, the easier it is for the boa to single out a weaker bird that will be easier to catch.
Do Boa Constrictors Eat Jaguars?
Maybe a very large boa constrictor could eat a Jaguar, but it’s usually the other way around. Jaguars are one of the biggest predators of boa constrictors, along with humans.
The jaguar has a powerful bite, strong enough to kill a boa constrictor. In the wild, there is a recorded occurrence of a boa trying to attack a jaguar, however, the Jaguar was able to escape with ease.
Boa constrictors are non-venomous carnivores. They have a varied diet that includes many small animals such as rats, lizards, amphibians, birds, and other large rodents.
They do not kill their prey by suffocation. Instead, they kill by restricting the blood flow. Boas rarely eat. When they do, they can last for weeks or even months without eating again.
Stuart is the editor of Fauna Facts. He edits our writers’ work as well as contributing his own content. Stuart is passionate about sustainable farming and animal welfare and has written extensively on cows and geese for the site.