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  • "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

    The "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"



    Interspersed with lots of photos of ovulations. These are all the more obvious "Football" type ovulations I have always been most familiar with until now...



    Well it is time I post something more detailed and hopefully instructive regarding ovulation in Boa Constrictors. The core of the matter is this; not all ovulations are created equal. There is a wide variation in how long, how obvious and how intense visually ovulations are in Boa Constrictors. I will describe with greater detail the ovulation process than I have done heretofore.



    Ovulation in Boa Constrictors is the process whereby the female Boa, after breeding with the male Boa, goes through contractions forcing the fully developed ova into the oviduct for fertilization by the awaiting sperm previously deposited by the male. It is at this precise time that the female Boa becomes gravid or pregnant as the developed ova are able to be fertilized by the sperm and life begins for the tiny Boa Zygotes which will shortly become Embryos. Ovulation centers from a point about 65% of the way down the body from the head. This is at the location of the ovaries. The ovulation can spread out over as much as 25-30% of the animals overall length.



    The most extreme ovulations are very obvious and simple to identify. Not so simple to photograph necessarily, but the big obvious ovulations jump right out at you. This you can attest to if you have seen it. Every year I have had several females that I identified as gravid, despite the fact that I had never observed an obvious ovulation. This happens to most breeders. For me this was because I was looking for the obvious "football" type ovulation as I had described many years ago and first published in the November 1996 issue of Reptiles Magazine. It was a long process but I have come to several additional conclusions that may help some to identify what is going on in their females.



    There is more commonly a more subtle form of ovulation than the "Football" type ovulation which I have previously described in detail. This less obvious ovulation I call the "Slow Motion Ovulation", "Slow Mo O", or "SMO". The SMO does not happen in a huge flurry of contractions forcing the gigantic massive football like swelling. It is much more subtle, not even allowing the female to appear more massive than she was just prior to that process. The female is, most of the time, in a coiled position rather than the more stretched out posture seen with the football type ovulation. She does however appear very tense. This is because she is very tight going through contractions. Last year I video taped an ovulation and watched one female for 2 1/2 hours while she ovulated. This happened to be a football type, but the point I want to make is the same for either type of ovulation. I watched this female as she went through contractions. She made very deliberate movements that were reminiscent of the contractions a female goes through when giving birth. Every few minutes she would move very slightly. Very slightly. This could be at three minute intervals or ten minute lapses. This movement can also be continuous but will be very very slow. Almost imperceptible it is so slow. I challenge you next time you see a female that is ovulating, or that you think may be, to just sit down and, while motionless yourself, watch her go through this process. It was an amazing thing for me to watch. These movements are more subtle than the contractions of giving birth. The birth process is really sort of a slow motion process in and of itself. The ovulation process I have observed to really be even slower in its movements. Very interesting to watch if you have the patience to do so.



    I believe that Boas typically have two distinct ovulations. I believe each ovary ovulates at different times and requires different movements to force the ova into their respective oviducts. I believe the first ovulation is always a more subtle ovulation or probably always the "Slow Motion Ovulation" without the football appearance. The second ovulation, if caught at the correct time, I believe is more often the football type ovulation but can sometimes be just as subtle as the "Slow Mo O". I have noticed a number of other things about the SMO.



    The Slow Mo O can take a long time. I mean a long time. I had a Boa just last week was in the throes of the SMO all week long. (This was from March 21-27, 2007) This female was wringing herself every time I looked in on her. I kept watching, checking many times every day in case this was the build up to the football and final ovulation. The football never came. The male continued to show some half hearted interest in her during this period but eventually was observed pacing all over the cage looking for a way out. This is sometimes a telltale sign that she is no longer receptive and he has done his task completely.



    The beauty of knowing that there is or can be a Slow Motion Ovulation that takes a precipitously long time, is the ease with which it can be observed and identified. If you know what to look for. This is the key. Boas are really pretty lethargic beasts. They move around very little. You can check your Boa(s) and notice many of them sitting in one position. Check them in an hour, exact same body position. Check another hour later, exact same body position. By same "body position" I don't mean the same place in the cage but the exact same position. When in the SMO, Boas keep moving. This just happens very very slowly. You may notice one day your female looking very tense. I notice this easily since I look for it now. They are normally coiled when this occurs. The male may still be working the female at this time as well. The only tricky thing is sometimes the male’s courtship will make the female move around a bit. As the courtship goes on, when I know that copulation is going on regularly, I wait to find that female in that coiled position. Not a symmetrical coil necessarily, never on top of herself either for that matter. But coiled about or in a back and forth coiled position rather than circularly. This position can sometimes be reminiscent of the movements of a Saw Scale Viper in a defensive posture, only 10,000 times slower. You may look at her and not see any movement. Check again in ten minutes. Then again in ten minutes and again, each time you will observe her "body position" to move gradually. Most of the time with a forward movement of her long body without changing where she is located in the cage. This forward locomotion is intense and deliberate seemingly with no destination in sight. Sometimes she will move to another location in the cage while doing this, but I have found most times this not to be the case. Over the period of days, of course the location of the female will obviously change. She does not stay in exactly the same spot for days. It's just that the movement that takes place extremely slowly is without any particular destination in mind.



    If you touch the female during this time, you will be impressed with her rigidity and the strength that she uses to avoid being picked up if you attempt to do so. I'd just leave her alone during this time and not upset what G O D gave her the instinct to do long ago when he created Boas.



    Boas have their POS or Post Ovulation Shed 16 – 20 days after the second ovulation and give birth approximately 105 days after that shed. These two fundamentals were included in detail as well as lots of other information in the Reptiles Article written long ago. A copy of the article can be viewed here if you want to see it with all the original pictures. Reptiles November 1996 Article. Or a slightly revised version is also available in The Boa Constrictor Manual:



    I have not been able to draw any conclusion regarding fecundity in the Slow Motion Ovulation and the football like ovulation. Either one is fine by me. The “Football Ovulation” is still great fun to see to be sure. But the Slow Motion Ovulation or SMO is fundamentally more likely to be observed if you know what the symptoms are and watch for them diligently.



    Last edited by The_Boaphile; 03-31-2007, 01:54 PM.

    theboaphile.com
    boaphileplastics.com


  • #2
    Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

    thanks for the info jeff. do you by any chance have pics of the coils your speaking of?

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    • #3
      Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

      Thanks for taking the time to write down this information Jeff. When we spoke, a few days ago, you were describing this very thing. I think that a couple of our females had a SMO this season, because I never witnessed what my limited experience would call an ovulation.

      It is really nice that long time breeders like yourself take the time to share their experiences with those of us newer to the breeding game. So many breeders hold on to their knowledge and refuse to share, which makes the learning curve much longer for the rest of us. If everyone could be just a little more open, the hobby could be much better for everyone.

      Once again I say to you, Mr. Boaphile Man, THANKS!!

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      • #4
        Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

        When they are gravid are they swollen all over,or just in the location of the ovulation?

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        • #5
          Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

          Originally posted by HopingForBabies
          When they are gravid are they swollen all over,or just in the location of the ovulation?
          I have noticed that mine are around the last third of the body all the way down to the tail. It isn't a localized as the "classic football" ovultaion. See below picture of a gravid boa (just over one month after POS) who is stretched out enough to see it



          Perhaps this thread deserves a "sticky"

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          • #6
            Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

            Ovulation is cetered at the point about 65% of the way down the body.

            theboaphile.com
            boaphileplastics.com

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            • #7
              Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

              Thanks everyone. It really isn't a completely selfless act if you think about it. Let me explain shortly.

              I have written a lot about breeding Boas. This is going to sound arrogant I suppose, but it is true. Most of what we know to be true about breeding Boas has been revealed in print through various writings I have done. I know, I said it, but it's true. Oh well, call me arrogant if you like. I suppose to some extent I am. I am in fact very proud of the contribution I have made to the captive care and breeding of Boa Constrictors. Very proud. However, I still pull up my pants one leg at a time just like everyone else. I am nothing special. I am just blessed with an observant analytical mind and have the luxury of watching a whole lot of Boas do their thing(s). That's all.

              I am not afraid of giving credit where credit is due, unlike some other folks. A number of things I have written about I have gotten credit for, though I was NOT the one who discovered it. I only wrote about it. For instance; Boas tend to give birth on rainy days or days when it is precipitating. This was pointed out to me by Karl Herman, originator of the Tiger Retic, many years ago. I expounded on it and detailed why that happens that way most of the time. Karl made the comment. I repeated it and expounded upon it in writing. I in no way feel threatened by giving credit where credit is due unlike some. One fellow recently wrote that "Breeders call the POS the Post Ovulation Shed". They do. That is correct. But they call it that because the term was first used by me in the November '96 issue of Reptiles magazine. I always give credit where credit is due. Some others do not have the character to do so. That I think is telling. Had I written about the POS, and someone else would have made up and popularized the term, I would have given credit where credit is due. To do so would in no way make anything I said of less importance. In fact doing so would show me to be to be selfless and gracious.

              Lots of folks are clearly successful breeding their Boas. Most of the time others are more successful than I am. I can admit that. This can be due to many reasons including, the main reason I like to think is the ability to spend more time with the animals making a more concentrated effort on doing this. Too many responsibilities and more animals than I can give the proper attention to detail to, to maximize my success in breeding. So, many others make tons of babies. Many are probably just plain better Boa breeders than I am too. Some using my methods exactly and some doing a form of my method. I'm sure many have produced many Boa babies that haven't read anything that I have written directly. Though someone that wished to be successful it seems might read everything they could get their hands on to learn as much as possible. Some don't use my "methods" at all. More power to everyone who wants to breed their animals and is successful doing so. That is what it is all about.

              Which finally brings me to explain why my writings have really not been the selfless act I sometimes get credit for. There are a number of reasons why I have written about the various things I have written about.

              1. This is the selfless part I guess. People reading what I have written can be more successful breeding their Boas than the Boa world had been prior to this knowledge becoming widely distributed. That is a great thing. Many fellows have complained to me that I should not tell all I have, but should keep the secrets to prevent others from benefiting from it. I don't keep any secrets regarding Boa keeping or breeding.

              2. The more successful people can be breeding their animals, the more potential customers there are out their. Success breeds acquisition! This means greater demand for the animals I produce as well. This is a direct benefit to me.

              3. Simply said; Revealing the information I have been fortunate to glean is really in essence, showing off on my part. When I have cool babies, I love to show them off! Everyone does! It's bragging about or showing your good success. Detailing the information I have regarding Boa Constrictors maintaining, introducing, courting, breeding, ovulating, gestating, birthing, starting and ultimately maintaining again, is really ultimately showing off. I admit it. This is a direct benefit to me.

              4. Excitement! Yes, excitement! When I stumble upon something else, I can't wait to tell somebody else about it. I get so excited and love to tell other folks so they can hear it and often confirm that yes, now that I mention it, they have seen the same thing! Or they call me back later and tell me that I was right. Who doesn't like to be right!? I love it! It may be hard to understand for some how excited I was when I had my first great epiphany. I had figured out about the POS or Post Ovulation Shed which occurs 16-20 days after ovulation followed by birth approximately 105 days later. I figured that out in about 1991 or so. I could hardly contain myself! I called every Boa guy I was friendly with and told them about it. It was crazy! It took me years to write it up and ultimately a friend of mine named Carl May sent what I had written to **** Bartlett, who forwarded it onto Reptiles Magazine saying "this had to be published". What could be more exciting!? This is a direct benefit to me.

              I never get over any of this! Never! More than twenty years breeding the kids, and I can still learn new stuff. I love everything about it and the vast majority of the people in this business are great people. Really great people. Great people, great animals and great fun! What more could a Boa Whacko ask for?

              theboaphile.com
              boaphileplastics.com

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              • #8
                Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

                Great info Jeff.

                I have yet to catch the massive ovulations that many people do in any of my boas. I think I either missed them or had this "SMO" you speak of.

                Many thanks for all the valuable breeding info you provide us - I know it has helped me greatly.

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                • #9
                  Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

                  How long will a boa be pregnant?

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                  • #10
                    Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

                    105 days after POS,give or take a few days.

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                    • #11
                      Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

                      Thanx atrayu........good to know

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                      • #12
                        Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

                        So Mr.Ronne, Mr.English and those of you who know for certain? I have a serious question for all of you:
                        Is there always a "POS" after a "SMO","Slow Motion Ovulation"? I believe I know this answer but would like some opinions? Thanks Lar M

                        Lar M
                        Boas By Klevitz

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                        • #13
                          Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

                          I hope to get a response so I'm bumping it.Lar M

                          Lar M
                          Boas By Klevitz

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                          • #14
                            Re: "Slow Motion Ovulation" "Slow Mo O" or "SMO"

                            Well I've paired up my 4 1/2yr old albino het female and my DH sunglow male. They've been together for almost two months now. About a month into the courting she went into a deep shed that had taken 18 days. When she came out of the shed she stayed dark and began refusing meals. I then caught her laying on her side today(just the tail...I'd say just 25% of her tail end). The boy, 2.5yrs old, has courted her not stop except when she was in shed. The deal is I've never seen one do all that and not show any signs of ovulation! She has not swollen at all. Could it be a slow mo, could it have happened and I just missed it all together or not happened yet???

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