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Science finally proves how a boa constrictor really kills its prey

That's one mean hug.

Internet Culture

Published Aug 30, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 1:50 am CDT

BY JAMES GORMAN

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It’s pretty obvious that boa constrictors squeeze the life out of their prey.

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But how, exactly? Do they suffocate them?

That explanation, long the conventional wisdom, had been challenged but not tested, according to Scott M. Boback, a herpetologist at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

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He joined with his colleague Charles F. Zwemer and several undergraduates to do just that. Their conclusion, reported in The Journal of Experimental Biology, is that blocking blood flow—not stopping the breath—is what kills the prey.

Read more in the New York Times

Screengrab via New York Times

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*First Published: Aug 30, 2015, 11:00 am CDT