Getting Wild with the Anaconda

PHOTO: Scott Calleja/Flickr
PHOTO: Scott Calleja/Flickr


The anaconda is known as the “king of all snakes” because it’s one of the largest snakes in the world with a terrifying reputation. The largest anaconda ever measured was 28 feet long, with a girth of 44 inches and a weight of over 500 pounds. Its scientific name is Eunectes murinus. Its color is greenish brown with black spots.

Anacondas are found in South America in the Amazon jungle. The anaconda moves slowly by slithering through mostly swamps and moist grass. The anaconda is an excellent swimmer spending most of its time alone in muddy waters. They prefer slow moving waters but can handle the roughness of streams. Often anacondas use water to escape and hide from danger, so scientists have a hard time finding and studying them.

The anaconda is in the boa constrictor family which means it coils its body around its prey and squeezes them to death. Then it unhinges its jaw and swallows its prey whole. Anacondas are mostly carnivores and eat any animal they can catch such as deer, capybara, fish, ducks, turtles and even wild pigs.

Did you know?

  • The anaconda can stretch its mouth to the size of its prey which can be up to one foot or more.
  • After an anaconda eats a large prey it will not eat for 2-4 weeks.
  • The female can be longer than the male by at least 10 feet.
  • Anacondas are not venomous snakes.
  • The heaviest of all snakes is the green anaconda with a weight of approximately 550 pounds.

Girth: The measurement around the middle of something

Capybara: The largest rodent in the world

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