• Considered primitive in evolutionary terms
  • most give birth to live young
  • named after cows because of the old myth that boa snakes pursue cows
  • medium to large in size
  • females are usually larger than males
  • contain many subspecies: Columbian, Suriname , Bolivian, Peruvian, Hog Island , Long Tail Peruvian, Argentine, and more
  • Boas from the Amazon are most colorful
  • Are mostly New World snakes but are found also in Madagascar , the Fiji Islands , and the Solomon Islands