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Natural UAE

Sand boa (Eryx jayakari)

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.


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