Head and tongue of a boa constrictor (wowla)
Boa Constrictors are one of the largest snakes in the world, and is one the largest snakes found in Belize. They aren't poisonous, but they surely can do a mighty job of capturing their prey, and a bite can be painful. The Boa Constrictor In Yucatec Maya it is known as Ooch Kaan or K'axab. Although carrying no poisonThe constructor adopted the name by the way it terminates its prey, constricting their bodies around and allowing no air to circulate. They use their flickering tongue to pick up scent.
The powerful, nonvenomous Boa constrictor, also known as ‘wowla’ in Belize, can be found countrywide. It can grow up to 13 feet (4 meters) long throughout its life span, which can be 20-30 years. It can weigh more than 100 pounds, making it the largest snake in Belize.
The boa constrictor is a solitary and nonvenomous snake, this force it to develop a unique survival strategy. It mainly hunts at night. It is called a constrictor because of its hunting technique of coiling its body around its prey and squeezing tight, preventing the creature from breathing and eventually killing it; it then swallows the prey. Its prey may consist of birds, lizards, frogs and small mammals. Larger boa constrictors will even eat monkeys, wild pigs or deer.
This incredible snake has also evolved in having various colors from brown to gray with beautiful patterns on its body, which helps it to blend in with its surroundings.
Among the Yucatec Maya of northern Belize there is the legend of El Dueño del agua described to be a huge snake which roams the Noh Ucum (Rio Hondo) and other bodies of water. El dueño del agua is known in Maya as Tzukan or Nojoch kaan.
Photograph by Eagle Eyes Photography
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