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Fun Sand Boa Facts For Kids

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The Sand Boa, scientifically known as Eryx colubrinus or Gongylophis colubrinus, is a non-venomous species (Eryx Johnii) of snake that is found in Iran, Pakistan, Eastern Africa, and India. The Sand boa morphs (genetic mutation) include Kenyan Sand boa, Indian Sand Boa, Egyptian Sand Boa, Saharan Sand Boa, javelin Sand Boa, Russian Sand Boa, Arabian Sand Boa, and many more. Furthermore, the morphs for Kenyan Sand boa are albino Sand Boa, red Sand Boa, striped, and snow Sand Boa. A Kenyan Sand Boa is mainly found in Kenya, Egypt, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Niger, and the other eastern parts of Africa. These snakes are terrestrial, and a Kenyan Sand Boa full-grown can reach up to 15-32 in (38-81 cm) long. Males are smaller than females in this snake species. For a Sand Boa, humidity is necessary as they shed their skin entirely once.

Sand Boas are the smallest species of boa snakes present on Earth, especially males. It is a reptile that has beautiful skin and a Sand Boa bite is not extensively harmful or deadly. They are very popular as pets, however, Sand Boa care must be kept in mind before getting one. Apart from that, their species are very expensive as they are widely used in the fashion industry and the pet trade. They generally prey on lizards and rodents. When kept in captivity, their enclosure has to be well set up with proper surroundings, and they should be fed every 10-14 days.

To know more about these fascinating animals, we have gathered a set of interesting facts about them for you to read. You can also read up more articles on reticulated python and blue tongue skink.

Sand Boa Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Sand Boa?

Sand Boas are a type of non-venomous snake that belongs to the family of Boidae.

What class of animal does a Sand Boa belong to?

They belong to the class of animals known as Reptilia.

How many Sand Boas are there in the world?

The Sand Boa snake is gradually decreasing in numbers due to its smuggling and poaching. An exact number of its population is not yet available.

Where does a Sand Boa live?

They mainly live in vegetated dunes, savannah scrublands, semi-arid regions, and near the edges of the desert. A Sand Boa lives in a burrow as they are terrestrial. The Kenyan Sand Boa is found in the arid or semi-arid regions of eastern and northern Africa.

What is a Sand Boa's habitat?

A Sand Boas' habitat includes sandy areas such as a desert. Sand Boas are mostly found in semi-arid desert regions. It can be found in hilly areas as well as in forests. Sand Boas are also seen in grasslands and on desert edges.

Who do Sand Boas live with?

It is seen that two male Sand Boas can never live together. If by any chance two or more Sand Boas are kept together, they will eat each other. However, a female and a male Sand Boa can be kept together. Even two females of the boa species can survive together.

How long does a Sand Boa live?

The Kenyan Sand Boa lifespan is approximately 10 years in the wild, but some boa species may live up to 20 years or more in captivity in some cases.

How do they reproduce?

The Sand Boa is ovoviviparous; they produce egg sacs that are incubated within the female body and hatch inside and develop an embryo within the female's body. The Sand boa gives birth to their young ones and does not lay eggs. They reproduce their offspring after the completion of their gestation period, which lasts about four months generally. The females deliver the young ones encased in membranes. A Sand Boa usually gives birth to 6-18 young ones at a time, and the young ones become entirely self-sufficient from the time of birth. Sand Boas gain sexual maturity from the age of two or even three at times. Their maturity is completely dependent on their environment and diet.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of some species such as the Arabian Sand Boa and the Javelin Sand Boa is listed as Least Concern according to International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN. Other species are not listed at all.

Sand Boa Fun Facts

What do Sand Boas look like?

These Sand Boa facts reflect everything about their appearance and habitat.

Sand Boas are hefty and thickly built snakes. They are rounded, heavy, and fleshy non-venomous snakes. Kenyan Sand boas have elegant orange-colored skin with dark brown speckles that is similar to the pattern of a dairy cow. They are peaceful and small in size with a short body. Their heads are round and blunt with small eyes and short tails that narrow speedily. Their tails cannot be coiled as they are short and tapered. Their back is admired for its beautiful orange and yellow colors, which are capped with dark brown stains, whereas their bellies are cream or white in color. Males can reach a size up to 15 in (38 cm) long, whereas females grow around 26-32 in (66-81 cm) long, and they can weigh around 2 lb (0.9 kg). A male Kenyan Sand Boa is smaller than a female in length.

How cute are they?

Kenyan Sand boas are a really cute species of snake and are admired for their beauty. This snake is considered to be a docile and peaceful reptile. These boa species are very popular due to their behavior, appearance, and their convenient size. They are considered to be the smallest species in the family of Boidae, the common name for the family of non-venomous snakes species. These reasons make them very lucrative in the pet trade.

How do they communicate?

Snakes communicate using chemicals known as pheromones. Chemical signals are sent from their glands which are later received by their vomeronasal organ. Majorly they use two communication channels; tactile, which is with some sense of touch, jerk, or twitch, and chemical channels. In snakes, the chemical channel of communication is more dominant.

How big is a Sand Boa?

A Kenyan Sand Boa length is 15-32 in (38-81 cm). A Sand Boa size is generally small. They are approximately 10 times longer than mice.

How fast can a Sand Boa move?

Sand boas cannot move very fast. This snake species have an average speed of about 1 mph (1.6 kph).

How much does a Sand Boa weigh?

Kenyan Sand boas weigh around 2 lb (0.9 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The names of the two sexes are the same for this species. No two different names are given to their sexes. They collectively have a common name, Sand Boa.

What would you call a baby Sand Boa?

There is no such specific name or term for baby Sand Boas. A newborn baby of a Sand Boa is simply known as a baby Sand Boa.

What do they eat?

Sand boas are carnivores, and so they usually feed on small mammals, and sometimes they may eat small birds and reptiles. The Sand Boas' diet includes lizards and rodents. It also eats mice. They do not need to chase their food. The Sand Boa spends most of its time in shallow caves located in sand dunes and ambushes its prey by remaining hidden underground with its head being outside to forage. When any animal or prey comes near them or within their constriction range, they immediately capture and strike them, which results in suffocation and demise. At times, they even eat them while they are alive. They usually forage during the night as they are nocturnal, so they actively hunt for small mammals or bird nestlings. The young ones may occasionally feed on insects if food is infrequent or scarce.

Are they aggressive?

No, the species is not generally aggressive. Rather, they are docile and calm reptiles, unless startled.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, these snakes make an excellent reptile pet, as they are peaceful and of a friendly disposition, and their size is ideal, they don't mind being held either. They are between $500-1500. To set up a Sand Boa enclosure, you need sand, space and a tank, along with plenty of food.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

A female Sand Boa usually devours their slugs, that is, their unfertilized ova, when they give birth to live young ones.

Interestingly, Sand Boa species can live up to a year without eating anything.

Sand boas' species are terrestrial and earthly reptiles, and so they love and prefer spending their time underground.

How does a Sand Boa hunt its prey?

Sand Boas lay camouflaged in the sand for a long time with their head above the substrate and their body below, waiting for their prey to pass by them. As soon as the prey passes by, they strike it and proceed to kill it by constriction. They then drag the prey into the sand.

How is a Sand Boa's head adapted?

Sand Boas are easily adaptable, and they spend most of their time basking beneath the substrate or the sand. These reptiles have their eyes and nostrils located at the top of their head. This structure helps them breathe and forage for their prey on the substrate easily, whereas the rest of the body rests underneath the surface. A Sand Boa's face is the only part that is exposed. Everything else remains below the surface.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles, including yellow anaconda or green anaconda.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Sand Boa coloring page.

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