Animal handlers hold a 19-foot anaconda outside of an american zoo (date and location unknown). (Females may reach a length of around 30 ft., males around 10 ft.). Among the world’s largest snakes, anacondas live in rivers and wetlands of South America.
The word anaconda is thought to come from the Tamil word anaikolra, which means elephant killer, alluding to the reptile’s fearsome reputation. (although of course, these South American Snakes would never have seen an elephant).
Anacondas feed on fish, birds, reptiles, and small mammals, though they have been known to take the occasional domestic animal. The big snakes can be dangerous to people, though reports of deliberate predation are very rare. Like other boas, anacondas are nonvenomous, and they often kill their prey by constricting it. Like other snakes, they swallow their prey whole.
While the Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is possibly not the longest snake in the world (that’s probably the Reticulated Python), it could be considered the largest snake in the world (when one considers that it is the snake with the largest girth and weight). The Green is one of 4 Anaconda species, all of which are found in South America. Anacondas are in the Boa family (Boidae).
Anacondas, like this one near a Venezuelan riverbank, are particularly large members of the boa family. Found only in South American jungles, they can reach 29 ft (9 m) in length, weigh more than 550 lbs (230 kg), and measure more than 12 in (30 cm) in diameter.
Member of the boa family, South America’s green anaconda is, pound for pound, the largest snake in the world. Its cousin, the reticulated python, can reach slightly greater lengths, but the enormous girth of the anaconda makes it almost twice as heavy.
Green anacondas can grow to more than 29 feet (8.8 meters), weigh more than 550 pounds (227 kilograms), and measure more than 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter. Females are significantly larger than males. Other anaconda species, all from South America and all smaller than the green anaconda, are the yellow, dark-spotted, and Bolivian varieties.
Anacondas live in swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams, mainly in the tropical rain forests of the Amazon and Orinoco basins. They are cumbersome on land, but stealthy and sleek in the water. Their eyes and nasal openings are on top of their heads, allowing them to lay in wait for prey while remaining nearly completely submerged…
Largest Snake That Ever Lived Was Longer Than a Bus
by John Roach
The world’s biggest snake was a massive anaconda-like beast that slithered through steamy tropical rain forests about 60 million years ago, says a new study that describes the ancient giant. Fossils found in northeastern Colombia’s Cerrejon coal mine indicate the reptile, dubbed Titanoboa cerrejonesis, was at least 42 ft (13 m) long and weighed 2,500 lbs (1,135 kg).
“That’s longer than a city bus and … heavier than a car,” said lead study author Jason Head, a fossil-snake expert at the University of Toronto Mississauga in Canada and a research associate with the Smithsonian Institution.
Previously the biggest snake known was Gigantophis garstini, which was 36 to 38 ft (11 to 11.6 m) long. That snake lived in North Africa about 40 million years ago.
In addition, the snake’s heft indicates that it lived when the tropics were much warmer than they are today, a find that holds potential implications for theories of once and future climate change…
This enormous anaconda looks like it just enjoyed some lunch. The massive snakes, which can grow to 13 feet (4 meters) or longer, are the first new species of anaconda discovered since 1936. These mainly aquatic boas catch, suffocate, and eat a wide variety of prey. Big anacondas have been known to eat large caiman, and mammals as big as tapirs and even jaguars.