Name: Arabian sand boa (Eric)
Where you live: Sandy deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and southwestern Iran
That eats: Short-toed geckos (stenodactyl), Baluchi geckos (Bunopus tuberculatus) and worm lizards.
Why it’s amazing: These shameless-looking snakes have eyes that appear glued to the top of their heads, earning them a celebrity moment on social media.
“The only reason the Arabian sand boa (Eric) has survived so long is that his prey can’t stop laughing in time to escape,” said one Reddit user. wrote in a post.
“Ah yes, the Arabian sand boa, the silliest looking snake.” another user said.
Today I learned about the Arabian sand boa. It looks like a child’s best effort at drawing a snake. pic.twitter.com/AoTQaqzTRFAugust 22, 2022
Arabian sand boas are nocturnal; They spend the day buried deep in the sand and come to the surface at dusk to hunt. And although their bulging eyes are sometimes ridiculed, they are essential to these snakes’ hunting strategy.
Having eyes on the top of their heads allows Arabian sand boas to watch while waiting for their prey to pass by, with the rest of their golden-brown bodies buried in the sand.
Arabian sand boas grow up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) long and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. They are one of two species of boas that lay eggs rather than giving birth to live young; The other species that lays eggs is the Saharan sand boa (Eryx tumbari), which is found throughout Africa.
Female Arabian sand boas lay their eggs in small clutches. They have to help their young out of the eggs when they are ready to hatch, after about nine weeks, because the young lack an egg tooth, a sharp projection on the snout that the young of other snake species use to open . their eggshells.
Arabian sand boas are common throughout their wide range and are not thought to be threatened by human activities, according to the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.