Get ready to meet one sssssssss’eriously impressive creature and powerful predator with our anaconda facts!
Fast anaconda facts
Scientific name (green anaconda): Eunectes murinus
Family name: Boidae
IUCN status: Data deficient
Lifespan (in wild): 10 years
Weight: Up to 227kg
Body length: 6 to 9m
Habitat: Swamps and rivers of tropical South America
The anaconda is a semiaquatic snake found in tropical South America. The name applies to a several snakes in the genus Eunectes, but it is commonly used to refer to one species in particular – the green anaconda.
When taking into account both weight and length, the green anaconda is the largest snake in the world, growing up to 9m long and weighing as much as 227kg. Picture it – that”s longer than six ten-year-olds lying head to foot, and heavier than all of them put together!
The green anaconda is a member of a family of snakes called constrictors. Constrictors are not venomous snakes, which means they don”t kill prey by delivering venom through a bite. Instead, constrictors wrap their bodies around their prey and squeeze until it stops breathing – yikes!
Once an anaconda has suffocated its victim, it’s time to open wide. And boy does this snake have a gob on it! Stretchy ligaments allow it to open its mouth wide enough to swallow prey whole – which could be large fish, rodents, caiman (relatives of crocodiles), wild pigs, small deer and even jaguars!
Other species of anaconda are smaller in size, and include the yellow anaconda and the dark-spotted anaconda.
Anaconda in water: Photograph by Patrick K. Campbell, Shutterstock. Anaconda in tree: Martin Krause, Dreamstime. Anaconda swimming: Colette6, Dreamstime. Map of anaconda distribution: National Geographic Maps.