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Green Anaconda

Description: The adult Green Anaconda is one of the world’s largest and heaviest snakes. Although the average anaconda reaches 20 feet in length, individuals have been measured at 30 feet in length. Anacondas can weigh up to 550 pounds and measure 30 centimeters around. Females grow considerably larger than males. The Green Anaconda is olive green with various black or brown splotches throughout the body. The head is small in comparison to the rest of the body, and the eyes are positioned high on top of the head to enable it to se above the water’s surface without exposing the rest of its body.

Diet/Hunting: The Green Anaconda will eat anything it can catch and overpower including rats, fish, birds, tapirs, capybaras, deer, warthogs, caimans, other snakes and reptiles, and even crocodiles. It is possible that on several occasions in the last decades that anacondas have even taken live humans. Anacondas kill their prey by constricting their bodies around them until they suffocate, or, drown, if the prey is taken underwater. Occasionally, an anaconda will hang from a tree branch and kill prey from above. Because the anaconda can unhinge its jaws, prey is swallowed whole, usually head-first. After a large meal, anacondas become very docile and may not eat for weeks.

Habitat/Range: The Green Anaconda is found in sluggish or still rivers and swamps in the tropical parts of northern and central South America. They can also be found on river banks and grasslands near water.

Breeding: Breeding among Green Anacondas takes place between April and May. Up to 12 male anacondas form a “breeding ball” around the female anaconda. The “breeding ball” is thought to be some sort of strength competition or wrestling match between anacondas. This competition may last several weeks before the much larger female finally chooses a mate. Females give live birth to as many as 30 young anacondas after a gestation period of about six months. Young anacondas are on their own from the time of birth and reach maturity after about four years.

Status: Green Anacondas are still relatively numerous, but face the threat of habitat destruction.

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