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The emerald tree boa, Corallus caninus, is a green snake with white bands. It lives in trees and shrubs near water (like swamps and marshes in rain forests). It is found in the lower Amazon basin (in Brazil) and in Guyana and Suriname. This snake has a life span of 15-20 years.

Hunting and Diet: The emerald tree boa is a carnivore (a meat-eater). It hunts at night (it is nocturnal). This snake catches food with its long teeth and then squeezes it to death. Like all snakes, it swallows its prey whole, head first. The boa's top and bottom jaws are attached to each other with stretchy ligaments, which let the snake swallow animals wider than itself. Snakes don't chew their food, they digest it with very strong acids in the snake's stomach.

The emerald tree boa eats birds and rodents. After eating a large animal, the snake needs no food for a long time, and rests for weeks.

Anatomy: Like all snakes, the emerald tree boa is cold-blooded; they are the same temperature as the environment. The emerald tree boa grows to be about 7.25 feet (2.2m) long. The forked tongue senses odors. There are heat sensors under the upper lip; these help the snake locate warm-blooded prey, like mammals and birds.

This snake bears live young. Neonates (newborn snakes) are deep brown-orange with white bars, and are about 1 ft long.

Classification: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Reptilia, Order Squamata (lizards and snakes), Suborder Serpentes, Family Boidae (constrictors), Genus Corallus, Species C. caninus.



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