The term anaconda reminds one of a movie with the same name released way back in 1997. If this wasn’t enough, the movie was further exaggerated with two sequels. Each film portrayed the anaconda, one of the largest and most powerful snakes on earth, devouring National Geographic crew members or unsuspecting tourists and as a villainous, sadistic man eater. Well that was represented within the boundaries of the silver screen. Getting back to facts, this large non-venomous South American reptile can actually provoke goose bumps with just the mention of its name. Found in a plethora of colors, the anaconda is hailed as one of the protectors of Amazon Rain Forests by the locals. Also known as the water boa, the word anaconda has been derived from the Tamil word “anaikolra” which means “elephant killer”, while some believe that the term has its roots in Latin “Eunectes” meaning “good swimmer”. The following facts are just an attempt to increase factual awareness and inculcate a sense of respect and understanding about these very rare and beautiful creatures that are being driven to the verge of extinction by human actions, such as poaching for their skin and encroachment in their natural habitat. Browse on for some interesting and amazing facts on anacondas.
Species: Eunectes murinus, Eunectes notaeus, Eunectes deschauenseei Eunectes beniensis
Group Name: Bed, knot
Length: 12-16 feet
Weight: 300 pounds
Life Span: 15-30 years
Diet: Birds and other animals
Habitat: South American dense forests, swampy river valleys and stream banks
Age of Sexual Maturity: 3-4 years
Gestation Period: 6-7 months
Number of Offspring: 20-40
Interesting And Fun Facts About Anaconda
- Anacondas are of four different kinds: green anaconda, yellow anaconda, dark-spotted anaconda and Bolivian anaconda.
- Native to the Amazon basin jungles of South America, these huge creatures can be sighted in easternBolivia,Paraguay, southernBrazil, and northeasternArgentina.
- Taking length and weight into consideration, the green anaconda is the largest snake in the world, weighing around 550 pounds (227 kg) and measuring 30 feet (9 meters).
- The nostrils of an anaconda are located on the top of its snout, allowing it to breathe with the rest of the body staying submerged in water.
- The anaconda can remain submerged under water and wait for its prey for as long as 10 minutes before it springs up and breathes again.
- Although the reticulated python can grow longer than the green anaconda, but the latter is much heavier and larger than the former.
- The green anacondas fall under the category of constrictors. They do not kill their prey by inserting venom through fangs like most snakes do.
- Anacondas wrap their bodies around their prey and squeeze until it stops breathing. In the process, most of the prey’s bones are broken, thus making it easier for the reptile to swallow it in.
- The anaconda can open its mouth large enough to swallow its victim whole, with the victim being as big as a deer.
- The stretchy ligaments in an anaconda’s mouth hold its jaws together and assist it to open its mouth wide open to swallow its prey whole.
- Experts state that the anaconda is the only predator naturally strong enough to prey on a jaguar.
- Anacondas are active at night and can hunt on both land and water, though they are more comfortable in water since it provides them with more maneuverability and makes them feel less bulky.
- Anacondas are proficient swimmers and like water. They can often be seen in forests hanging from the branches of small trees to dry off their skin in order to maintain their body temperature.
- Pigs, deer, caiman, birds, fish, rodents (like capybara and agouti), ducks, ponies, goats, turtles, and other animals form the food of anacondas. Conversely, baby anacondas feed on comparatively smaller aquatic prey, such as frogs, toads, hamsters, mice, rats, and fish.
- The entire body of anaconda is covered with scales with the exception being cloaca. Glands in the cloaca emit a foul smelling musk, which acts as a poisonous insecticide for small organisms like ticks and leeches and prevents them from festering.
- The female anaconda is larger than its male counterpart. In some recorded cases, female anacondas prey on a smaller male.
- During mating season, as many as 12 males try to mate with a single female at the same time, the resultant being an odd cluster known as breeding balls.
- The mating process of anaconda can stretch for as long as 2 to 4 weeks.
- Like all boas, anacondas do not lay eggs; instead, they give birth to live baby snakes.
- Young baby anacondas develop in their mother’s body attached to a yolk sac and enclosed by a clear membrane.
- When the mother is ready to give birth, she exerts pressure and pushes the babies out of an opening called the cloaca.
- The newborns are born surrounded by a protective membrane wrapped around their bodies and break it open in order to breathe and survive.
- As soon as young offspring are born, the mother moves away from them and they are left to fend for themselves.
- Born at two feet long, baby anacondas are capable of swimming and hunting for their prey immediately after birth.
- Anacondas can control and regulate their body temperature by changing the amount of skin surface exposed to the sun.