Sneaky Banana Boa!

What do you got? Ohh, I saw another one of those shrimp. Yeah. I'm trying to catch one of those shrimp and it's so fast. I haven't really seen any of the big ones.

Nah that'd be much cooler. Here, let's check out plants. Low overhangs like this can be a great place to find basilisks.

Is that spiky? Yeah it's definitely spiky, watch yourself. Oh there's a snake right there! Where? Look at the back of it's tail. Hold on. I don't see it, where is it? Oh! Look on the side of the tree branch.

Oh! There it is, yup. What kind of snake is that? - it's gonna drop into the water. (Jaguar roar) (tribal drum music) it looks like a little boa-- no! No no no! Hold on! Gotcha! Yes! Wow! That is a bromeliad boa! - cool! Actually it's a very elusive species that you very rarely see! I thought it was an actual boa constrictor, this is awesome.

Okay, back up a little bit. Let's have everyone back up a few steps. Couple steps, couple steps. There's a bank here, there's a little clearing over here. Wow! I have never seen one of these snakes in the wild.

They're incredibly elusive. Semi-arboreal, they go up into the trees every once and a while to hunt, and being a primarily nocturnal species, that's exactly what this reptile was doing.

Look at that! You guys are probably thinking to yourselves, " coyote! You just grabbed that snake right out of the tree, weren't you afraid?" I could easily tell that this was a non-venomous snake.

I actually thought it was a boa constrictor. Now they are related, and this is the smallest boa species that we have here in costa rica.

You know what it feels like? What? It feels exactly like the rubber boas that we catching in northern california. Mark, put your hand out there.

Tell everybody at home what that snake feels like. Oh yeah, it feels like a fishing lure. Isn't that cool? It's very soft.

My hand is shaking right now out of excitement, not because i'm afraid of this snake. It's very docile. Look at it's ability to just project it's head outwards. They're amazing climbers.

Oh, okay. Oh, sniffing my nose. Checking me out. Is that a good idea? Yeah, completely safe. Completely safe with a non-venomous snake and they very seldom bite. Now, i'm guessing this is probably a female.

Females do grow larger than the males. And this is about maximum size. Two feet in length, this one's a little less than that. They can grow to be about 30 inches, but like I said they are incredibly elusive because look at this camouflage, watch this.

I'm going to set this snake down in the leaf litter, ready follow my hands down. Look at that. The snake completely disappears. It looks just like the leaves, the dirt, and the rocks.

You could be walking right through this environment, actually be shining your flashlight down at the ground, and you may never even see this snake. Unbelievable! Look at the pattern on it.

The pattern is incredible! Look at all these little tiny brown leaves. And this snake could easily just disappear into the underbrush if it needed to. Come here little snake, there we go. And these snakes have an unbelievable ability to balance their bodies.

Now it was up on that palm frond and watch this. It will just slither up the length of my arm, and you're probably thinking to yourself, " well it's a boa, does that mean " that they constrict their prey?" as a matter of fact, they do.

What these snakes are out here hunting for are small lizards and frogs. They are opportunistic, so any little invertebrate would also be fair game, I thought it was gonna strike at me there.

It's just very curious. Sensing me with it's tongue, it sees all these bright lights and it's thinking, " ah, this could be a good place to hunt." because lights often times attract geckos and bugs.

Let's talk about the demeanor of this snake, it seems very docile. Oh, it truly is. As you can see it's very slow moving, and they are. They're very docile.

Not prone to biting, i mean obviously it's not going to try to eat something like a human. Not a creature that you ever need to be afraid of. And of course, they're non-venomous.

The way that they kill their prey, just like a larger boa constrictor, is they wrap their body around and constrict it, cutting off air and blood flow and eventually that animal suffocates and dies, and then becomes a meal.

Now let's talk about the name of this snake. The bromeliad boa. Now, a bromeliad is actually a type of plant that you will find here in the rainforest.

And these snakes can often be found hiding in the leaves or they'll build their homes up underneath the root structures. Another name for this snake is the banana boa.

And that's because these snakes occasionally show up believe it or not, in grocery stores. Because if they're up in a tree hunting, like a banana tree, they will hide in the clusters of bananas waiting for prey, and then if farmers are out there getting those giant clusters of bananas, look at that.

It's crawling up on my hat. Then the snake ends up being transported out of it's natural environment, and sometimes even into a grocery store. Look at how strong it is, able to just pull itself up on my hat.

A lot different looking than the rubber boa. Yes, very different looking but similar in the way it feels. Look at that. Ooh. Well how cool is this, we're out here searching the creeks for shrimp and basilisk, and we come across the bromeliad boa.

I'm coyote peterson, be brave. Stay wild. We'll see you on the next adventure! Alright, let's get this snake back up onto it's leaves so she can keep hunting. If you thought the bromeliad boa was one wild looking snake, make sure to go back and check out my encounter with the rubber boa.

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