Hardly ever seen, but present in all the sand deserts of the United
Arab Emirates, is the sand boa (Eryx jayakari ). A nocturnal
member of the Boidae family, it lives almost permanently under
the sand. With its very smooth scales it is able to glide through
the soft substrate without surfacing. Its eyes and nostrils are
located on the uppermost parts of its head, thus allowing it to
lie buried under the surface, with only these organs protruding.
Thus it lies in wait for an unsuspecting prey animal to walk past.
Once it has caught a small mammal or reptile, it constricts it
in typical boid fashion before swallowing the prey whole. The
smooth scales give the body a very glossy appearance. It's basic
colour is yellow, with an irregular pattern of brown bars and
blotches. It has a thick, strong body with no defined neck and
grows to approximately 40 cms in length.