Thursday, June 24, 2010
So, it's time to introduce the snakes. I'll start with the baby of the bunch, Angus Buchan. He is a Kenyan Sand Boa, native to ... Kenya! I named him after an evangelist in Africa, Angus Buchan, who is doing wonderful work there with orphans!
My Angus, is a male sand boa, who will grow to a whopping 15"-22" (15-22 inches) long. He will get chunky, but will be a relatively small snake.
Kenyan Sand Boas are non-venomous constrictors. Yes, they can bite, but any animal with a mouth can and will bite.
They are basically the equivalent of our grass and garden snakes. They live predominantly in dessert type areas, but can also live in grassy areas. Their heads are shaped differently - their snout is slanted slightly downward, somewhat like a spade, enabling him to dig into the loose ground. You can feel this difference when he crawls on your hand - he presses downward to try to hide in the sand. He can be frequently spotted under the sand with only part of his head exposed, laying in wait for prey.
His scales are also very different from other snakes. They are smaller,more circular, with a slight indentation. This helps him to burrow quickly in sand to hide from predators, or prey. His coloring is same as giraffes - a yellowish orange with dark brown-black spots and a cream colored belly. However, he lacks the "shiny" look of many snakes, due to his scales.
Currently, he is "in the blue" meaning he is turning a gray color and eyes will have a blue tint. He will shed within a week to 10 days, under his water bowl. Once he sheds, his skin will look much brighter!
Snakes shed frequently when growing, as their skin does not grow with them. Once they are adults, they shed when injured, if they grow, and just to rid themselves of old, skin.
Angus eats thawed frozen feeders, 2 pinkies per week. He is a predator and thinks he has to hunt for food. I feed him with feeding tongs, making his food "run around" so he can attack it. Once he attacks, he sometimes constricts around the food, as he would do in the wild.
He is our slowest eater and our smallest snake. He is a favorite of small children, as he is so small, himself. Also a favorite of those who fear snakes. He looks like a snake, but is smaller, not as scary! (he's actually quite adorable!)
Angus lives in a 10 gallon aquarium that has sand and ground walnut shells for substrate. His habitat also has a large boulder (with a hideaway), a toy giraffe and a toy 4 wheeler. It is decorated in what I see Africa as. (I had wanted a lion deco to sit on the edge of the boulder Lion King style, but haven't found one I like)