The concepts "python" and "boa constrictor" are used by many people as synonyms. After all, they understand that both terms characterize large, powerful, non-venomous snakes that kill their victims by suffocating with the rings of a coiled body.
Pythons - these are snakes. They belong to the Python family, the Scaly order, the Reptile class. Python is not poisonous. There are 9 genera and 41 species of these animals on Earth. All pythons are common in the so-called Old World. These are Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. The classic examples of python are hieroglyphic python, green or brindle python.
Boas are snakes. They belong to the Pseudopod family, the Scaly order, the Reptile class. Today, 13 genera and 53 species of these animals have survived on the planet. A significant number of species live in the New World, and only four genera of boa constrictors are common in Africa, southern Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. The most famous member of the family is the anaconda. She holds the record in the kingdom of snakes with a length of 11.43 m.
Pythons prefer humid tropical and equatorial forests. They gladly settle near the water, climb trees excellently. They prefer to hunt and move in the dark. Boas prefer the same moist warm forests, they love water procedures. They also choose a night for hunting and performing basic physiological needs. Both families have dimples on their faces - thermal detectors, allowing them to easily find prey.
Externally, pythons and boas are very similar. The size of pythons varies from 60 cm to 10 m, but boas grow up to 10 m. The color of both animal families depends on the environment in which they live. Bright green and spotted ones are those that live in trees. Brown and brown-brown animals are those that spend most of their time on the ground.
Pythons and boas can be visually distinguished by examining the head. Pythons have a prominent supraorbital bone. In boas, the eyes are not protected by either a prominent bone or shields. Pythons have teeth on their premaxillae with which they are able to hold their prey. Among the boas, there are toothless and toothed species. At the same time, the teeth grow on the intermaxillary bones. In both families, the jaw bones are connected by elastic ligaments.
Both families of animals are characterized by the presence of rudimentary girdles of the hind limbs and pelvic bones. They are noticeable in males, in which they are presented in the form of small claw-like outgrowths on the sides of the anus. Both families of reptiles have a pair of lungs. But there is some difference in the structure of the copulatory organs. In male pythons, a rudimentary bone is located in the hemipenis. Therefore, in pythons, between the underdeveloped remnants of the hind limbs, a "non-removable" penis is visible, which distinguishes them from boas.
Another significant difference between the two groups of animals is the reproduction of offspring. All pythons are oviparous animals. The female pythons "incubate" the eggs on their own. At the same time, the muscles of their body contract, heating the air in the middle of the ring with this work 15 ° C higher than the temperature of the atmosphere. This is especially important at night, when even in the tropics the temperature drops below 24 ° C. The brooding process lasts about two months. But most boas are engaged in egg production. Only a few species have a preference for laying eggs.
- Boas have a wider distribution area than pythons.
- Pythons have a prominent supraorbital bone, while boas do not.
- All pythons have teeth, but not all boas. Moreover, in different families, they grow on different jaw bones.
- Male pythons have a rudimentary bone in the penis. In boas, the copulatory organ is not noticeable during the extramarital period.
- All pythons are oviparous, most boas are ovoviviparous.