The Anaconda or green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is the one of biggest snakes in the world.
It is a non-venomous boa species from South America. It is the largest, heaviest, and second longest known living snake (behind the reticulated python). The term "anaconda" usually means this species.
This giant snake (which is called the water boa) lives in swampy areas of tropical South America. It spends a lot of time in shallow water, hidden from unsuspecting prey. Anacondas give birth to live young; 20 to 40 baby snakes are born at one time. The largest specimens measured 17.1 feet long and weighed 215 pounds.
Hunting and diet[change | change source]
All snakes are carnivores (meat-eaters). Anacondas mostly hunt at night. Anacondas kill by constricting (squeezing) the prey until it can no longer breathe. Sometimes they drown the prey. Like all snakes, they swallow the prey whole, head first. The anaconda's top and bottom jaws are attached to each other with stretchy ligaments, which let the snake swallow animals wider than itself. Snakes do not chew their food, they digest it with quite strong acids in the snake's stomach. Anacondas eat pigs, deer, caiman (a type of crocodilian), birds, fish, rodents (like the capybara and agouti), and other animals. After eating a large animal, the anaconda needs no food for a long time, and rests for weeks. The young (called neonates) can care for themselves soon after birth, including hunting (but are pretty much defenseless against large predators). They eat small rodents (like rats and mice), baby birds, frogs and small fish.
Other species[change | change source]
There are four species in the genus Eunectes:
other than nominate 
|Common name||Geographic range|
|E. beniensis||Dirksen, 2002||0||Bolivian anaconda||South America in the Departments of Beni and Pando in Bolivia.|
|E. deschauenseei||Dunn and Conant, 1936||0||Dark-spotted anaconda||South America in northeastern Brazil and coastal French Guiana.|
|E. murinus||(Linnaeus, 1758)||1||Green anaconda||South America in countries east of the Andes, including Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and on the island of Trinidad.|
|E. notaeus||Cope, 1862||0||Yellow anaconda||South America in eastern Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay and northeastern Argentina.|
References[change | change source]
- Rivas, Jesús Antonio (2000) (PDF). The life history of the green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), with emphasis on its reproductive Biology (Ph.D. thesis). University of Tennessee. http://www.anacondas.org/diss/disser.pdf.
- "Eunectes". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
- Dirksen, L. (2002) (in German). Anakondas. Münster: Natur und Tier Verlag.
- McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).