Boomslang

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Boomslang…

Boomslang Snake
Image credit: William Warby cc2.0

The boomslang is a slender snake native to sub-Saharan Africa. It grows about 6 feet (1.8 meters) long and camouflages very well with its environment. While most snakes of the Colubridae family are not venomous, the boomslang is one exception, and it is deadly to humans.

boomslang tree snake
Image credit: Rouan van der Ende cc2.0

Boomslangs are arboreal snakes, spending their time in trees. They wait for their prey with the front part of their bodies extended motionless into the air. Boomslangs have excellent vision, and to get a better view of objects in front of them, they move their head from side to side. Their prey consists of chameleons and birds, which they swallow whole.

Boomslang in grot
Image credit: Harold Kuiper cc2.0

It is a timid snake and prefers to live in seclusion. Since it usually runs away from anything too large to swallow, a larger animal (like a human) is in danger of getting bitten only if the snake is disturbed in some way. When feeling threatened, it puffs its neck out to appear bigger and more dangerous, and assumes an S-shaped striking position.

Boomslang_-_Western_Cape
Boomslang – Western Cape, South Africa Photo taken in near Botrivier. Image credit: Andynct GFDL v1.2

Up to thirty eggs are laid by the female boomslang, deposited in rotting logs and the hollows of tree trunks. The young of the boomslang are about 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) long at birth. They are not generally a threat until they grow up to about 17.7 inches (45 centimeters).

Boomslang are featured in the following books:
25 Awesome Snakes
25 of the Most Poisonous Animals in the World




Boomslang vs. Chameleon

The National Geographic show us a Boomslang preying on a chameleon.

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