Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)


Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family:    Boidae
Size:    Length: 16 to 33 ft (4.8 to 10 m)
Weight: Up to 550 lbs (250 kg)
Diet: Large and small animals including rodents, deer, jaguars and caimans
Distribution: South America
Young:  20 to 40 live young
Animal Predators:  Unknown
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: No special terms
Lifespan: 10 to 30 years



·       The anaconda is the largest non-poisonous snake belonging to the boa family.

·       The longest anaconda recorded was 37.5 feet (11.4 m). 

·       The most aquatic of the boas, it is sometimes referred to as the “water boa.”

·       The name “anaconda” is derived from a Tamil word meaning elephant killer.

·       South American Indians have reported seeing anacondas up to 80 feet (24.3 m) long.

·       The yellow anaconda also lives in South America, but is smaller than the green anaconda.



Green anacondas are known as the largest and most powerful snakes in the world, with the females typically being larger than the males. The diameter of an anaconda is about a foot around. Green anacondas are dark green in colour with black oval patches on their back. Their eyes and nostrils are located on the top of the head, enabling them to see and breathe while otherwise totally submerged in water.



Green anacondas are found throughout tropical South America as well as Trinidad. They prefer slow moving waters and swamps. 


Feeding Habits

Green anacondas eat a wide variety of prey, from rodents to deer. They catch their prey by waiting in the water with only their snout above the surface—when an animal such as a caiman (similar to an alligator) swims by, anacondas grab the victim with their powerful jaws, either wrapping their themselves around it until it suffocates, or holding it under the water until it drowns. They also catch animals like deer or jaguars that come for a drink by the shore, pulling them into the water. On land, anacondas sometimes drop down from a tree onto a victim. Anacondas swallow their prey whole and have jaws that unhinge, enabling them to eat prey larger than the diameter of their mouths. After a large meal, anacondas may not eat for days or weeks while they lie in the sun, allowing their food to digest. 



Anaconda males and females are only found together during mating season. After mating, they go their separate ways. Six months later, the female gives birth to live young. The usual size of a litter is from 20 to 40, but can be as many as 100. The young snakes are usually about two feet (61 cm) in length at birth and begin to swim and hunt within hours, catching frogs and fish.



Although green anacondas can inflict a painful bite, it is non-lethal. They instead kill their prey by circling it and squeezing. Anacondas are completely at home in the water and spend most of their time there. On land, they can become tick-infested and cannot move as quickly as they do in water. 



Their numbers are decreasing due to habitat reduction and also because they are killed on sight by people who are afraid of them, even though anacondas are not known to kill or even attack humans.