Green Anaconda
Eunectes murinus

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Squamata
SUBORDER: Serpentes
FAMILY: Boidae

SIZE:
Usually 16 feet in length but may reach 33 feet or more and weigh more than 550 lbs.

RANGE:
Throughout the basins of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers in South America

HABITAT:
Streams, swamps, and pools of the tropical rainforests

DIET:
Wild - Deer, wild pigs, large rodents that come down to the water to drink. May also attack jaguars and caiman.

Zoo - Rats, mice, rabbits

DESCRIPTION:
Very large, heavy snake, brownish-olive green with large, black egg-shaped spots.

FACTS:

  • Heaviest of all snakes, it is more comfortable swimming than dragging its bulk on land.
  • Lies in wait, coiled in the shadows, for prey; occasionally preys on jaguars, but never attacks humans, even from the water
  • Once human presence is sensed, it will glide quietly away; solitary, but sometimes forms small groups

ADAPTATIONS:

  • Sharp teeth that seize and hold prey; strong muscles that enable constriction of prey
  • Very elastic jaws that allow swallowing of prey in whole state
  • The fact that it is cold-blooded, has a low metabolic rate, and its ability to consume large quantities of food whole allows snake to survive for months and, in some cases, possibly years without food.

YOUNG:
Gives birth to live young, producing 20 - 40 young, each about 2 feet long; young independent within hours of birth; feeding on frogs and fish until big enough for larger prey.

STATUS:
CITES App. II; Not threatened; hunted by the skin trade

REFERENCE:
"Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia," Vol. 6 Reptiles, Dr. Bernhard Grzimek