Anaconda: a characteristic of a giant snake where it dwells


Scientists have expressed rather contradictory versions about the name of the anaconda. According to etymologists, the mammal takes the name from the word henakandaya, which means "rattlesnake". Another version is that the reptile is named because of the Tamil phrase, meaning "the killer of elephants." So where does this non-venomous, but big water snake live? Its habitat is Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, the tropical parts of South America.


Anaconda belongs to the scaly squad of the creepy class. This is a fairly large snake. The most gigantic reptile was found in Venezuela. Its length was 5 meters 20 centimeters, including the size of the tail. Anaconda weighed almost 98 pounds. It should be noted that the movies about snakes of this species with a length of 11-15 meters should be classified as fantastic.

There is one curious feature: anaconda female is always larger than the male. The skeleton of a snake consists of a trunk and a tail. The reptile's ribs are extremely mobile and widen greatly when swallowing big game. The skull of the anaconda is distinguished by its elastic bones, which helps it to open its mouth wide while hunting. Anaconda does not break, does not crush bones, as other boas do, it squeezes the prey so that oxygen cannot enter the lungs, and the prey is killed by suffocation. This snake has no fangs, so it does not tear or chew food.

Habitat and hunting

Where anaconda lives, there are always plenty of water. As a rule, the snake chooses a warm and humid terrain. This is a water creature that inhabited the Amazon and Orinoco rivers. Particularly comfortable snake lives on the island of Trinidad. It is believed that this zone is abundantly populated by such living creatures as anaconda, hummingbird, condor. Trinidad is an island of controversy.

The territory is successfully divided by small birds weighing 6-11 grams and large condors weighing 12 kilograms. If we talk about the anaconda, we can distinguish the usual, green, Paraguayan and Beni. All listed species are excellent swimmers and divers. Special valves located on the nostrils help them to stay under water for a long time.

When the inhabited rivers and lakes dry up, the snakes wander to other channels. After all, where anaconda lives, there must be water. Sometimes the reptile buries itself in silt before the onset of tropical rains. Why do they need them? The fact is that in reservoirs it is easier to guard and catch prey. She most often is a fish, a turtle, a bird. First, the water snake freezes and waits for its victim. Then, seizing the moment, she swiftly attacks the prey and wraps itself around a tenacious spiral. As soon as the living creature is strangled, the snake swallows it whole.

Tobago Island

It has the same amazing diversity of flora as Trinidad. Here cultivated plantations of coconut and sugarcane. The island is rich in its diverse fauna. Opossum and howler monkey live on it. This is another place where anaconda, hummingbirds and condors live.

Also in Tobago, there is an abundance of alligators and various lizards, who have chosen to thickets of mangrove trees growing in river mouths. This place is ideal for anaconda life.

Reptile Reproduction

Scientists have found that a water snake can go without food for several months in a row. But when the breeding season comes, she announces a boycott of the hunger strike and sets off to find food. She needs to support herself with food and find a male to mate. It is proved that only a full anaconda can bring viable offspring. To attract the male reptile begins to exude a special pheromone. A partner is looking for her with the help of his tongue. This is the case when he chooses a female for “taste”. How is the pairing?

It is difficult to answer precisely. It is only known that several males gather around the female, which twist into a large tangle. But with which of them the female mates, it is not always clear. After the love games, the pregnant reptile tries to find a body of water, escaping from the heat. After all, it is the scorching sun that always rules where the anaconda lives. Mainland South America is one of those tropical places where numerous species of famous snakes inhabit. Unfortunately, many of them die from drought.

Anaconda offspring

The female, who successfully survived the heat and the hunger strike of 7 months, will give the world her cubs with the onset of the first rains. About 30-40 babies are born in one anaconda. Along with the serpent, undeveloped eggs leave the female. For a while they serve anaconda food. Mother snake doesn't worry about her cubs, as they are completely independent. After the birth of the anaconda, they explore the world with curiosity and go hunting. But while they are small, they often become victims of adult predators themselves.

Anaconda - description and characteristics. What does anaconda look like?

Anaconda is a very large snake, and females are much larger than males. According to scientifically verified data, the largest anaconda female was caught in Venezuela: the length of the anaconda was 5 meters 21 centimeters including tail, and the body weight was 97.5 kilograms. Rumors about the capture of anacond 9-11 m long, some scientists regard as false. Although in Soviet books another maximum length of this snake is indicated - 11.43 meters (I. Akimushkin “The World of Animals”, “The Life of Animals” edited by Zenkevich t. 4 h. 2).

Like all reptiles, the axial skeleton of the anaconda is divided into the trunk and tail, consisting of vertebrae, the number of which can be 435 pieces. The ribs of the snake are mobile and diverge widely when large prey is ingested.

The skull of the anaconda is distinguished by a movable articulation of bones connected by elastic ligaments. Thanks to this feature, the snake has the ability to open the mouth very widely, swallowing large prey entirely.

The nostrils and anaconda eyes are high on the head, so that these snakes, like crocodiles, can breathe and at the same time be completely under water, guarding a potential victim. Snake's eyes are protected by transparent scales (eyelids) and are adapted to track objects moving rather than focus images.

Anaconda's teeth are long and sharp, but do not contain poison. Therefore, an anaconda bite for a person can be very sensitive, but perfectly safe. The snake tongue is an important olfactory and taste organ in constant motion.

Due to the lack of mucous glands, the skin of the anaconda is dense and dry, shiny due to glossy scales. The reptile moult proceeds according to the principle of “stocking turned inside out” - the snake sheds as a single layer at a time.

The body of the anaconda is uniformly colored grayish-green, yellowish, or olive. Along the spine, there are 2 rows of large dark spots - a classic example of camouflage that perfectly hides a snake against the background of the water surface and dark water vegetation.

How long does anaconda live?

Like most large snakes (pythons and boas), anacondas grow throughout the entire life cycle, the first years are particularly intense, and when mature, they are much slower. It is not known exactly how long the anaconda lives in natural conditions, but in captivity the average age of a snake is 5-6 years. The maximum recorded life expectancy of anaconda was 28 years.

Where does anaconda live?

Anaconda lives on the island of Trinidad, as well as throughout the tropics of South America: the area covers such countries as Venezuela and Peru, Brazil and Paraguay's east, Ecuador, northern Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana and Guyana. The typical environment where the anaconda lives is a quiet river bed with a weak current, river backwaters and swamps. If the reservoir dries up, the anaconda snake moves down along the riverbed or digs into mud and falls into anabiosis before the onset of the rainy season.

These huge snakes are excellent swimmers, because they spend almost all their lives in the water, occasionally crawling to the shore to bask in the sun, or crawl into the trees, wrapping the lower branches around the bodies.

What does anaconda eat?

At the bottom of the river anaconda sheds old skin, hunts there, or lurks prey near the shore. Anaconda is a non-venomous snake, and it is characterized by a way of hunting, typical of all boas: the snake motionlessly watches the prey, and then makes a sharp throw, wraps the victim with a muscular body and suffocates. But it does not press and does not break the animal’s bones, as boas usually practice. As a result, the victim of the anaconda dies of suffocation. Also, the snake can catch prey with teeth.

The anaconda feeds on different species of mammals and reptiles, the fish in the snake menu takes up the least significant part. Agouti, iguanas and other lizards, waterfowl, and also some large animals serve as food for it: capybaras, peccaries, young caimans, turtles, capybaras, tupinambis and snakes, including rather large pythons.

Anaconda indiscriminately eating cannibalism. Also, small domestic animals, such as chickens, dogs and cats, are often the victims of giant snakes.

Despite the powerful stomach acids, large meals are digested for several weeks, leaving the reptile body with a substantial supply of nutrients and energy. Due to this feature, anaconda snakes are not voracious and can completely go without food for a long time.

Anaconda - photos, types and names.

Anaconda genus includes 4 modern species of snakes:

  • Giant anaconda (ordinary anaconda, green anaconda)(lat. Eunectes murinus) - the largest type of anacond with a body length of about 5-6 meters. The body of the snake is gray-green, the back is covered with 2 rows of large brown spots of a round or oval shape, arranged in a checkerboard pattern. A series of small yellow round marks with a black border runs along the side surface of the snake's body. The giant anaconda lives in the tropical zone of South America from Brazil and Paraguay to Bolivia, Peru and the island of Trinidad. The snake prefers low-flowing, muddy creeks and small lakes of the Amazon and Orinoco basins.

  • Paraguay anacondashe south or yellow anaconda(lat. Eunectes notaeus) has a length of 2 to 4 meters. Most of the representatives of the species have a yellow color, but there are greenish and gray individuals. The body of the anaconda is decorated with a large pattern of black or brown spots of a round or oblong shape with a light middle. The Paraguayan Anaconda lives in the standing or low-flowing waters of Paraguay, northern Argentina and southern Bolivia.

  • Anaconda Eunectes beniensis - a snake resembling a Paraguayan anaconda in appearance, and therefore there is a possibility of attributing this species to Eunectes notaeus. The length of the anaconda is 4 m, the snakes have a brownish-olive or brown color of the back and a gray-brown-yellow color of the lower body. The figure is represented by 5 longitudinal dark stripes on the head and hundreds of uniformly dark spots on the back. This anaconda species inhabits swamps and humid forests in northeastern Bolivia and, possibly, in the adjacent territories of Brazil.

  • Anaconda Deschainsea(lat. Eunectes deschauenseei) - a rare, poorly studied species, whose representatives are distinguished by relatively small sizes: the length of an adult anaconda is 1.3-1.9 meters. The snake lives in a marshland in northeastern Brazil and in Guiana.

How to breed anaconda?

Anacondas are solitary, and are collected in groups only during the breeding season. The mating season coincides with the rainy season, which begins in the Amazon Basin in mid-spring. During the breeding season, the anacondas creep out onto dry land, and the males look for females by the smell of pheromones that the female individuals leave on the ground.

One female can have several partners. Anacondas, like other snakes, mate, coiling, consisting of intertwined bodies. Males use rudimentary organs of the hind limbs to keep their female partner, a method characteristic of all members of the family of leg-footed. At the same time, a gnashing sound emanates from the coil of mating giant snakes.

Anacondas are fertile snakes, the incubation period is 6-7 months, during which the female is severely depleted, losing almost half the weight. Very rarely, the pregnancy ends with the laying of eggs: as a rule, the egg membranes burst in the womb, and from 28 to 42 cubs are born (according to one of the versions, there can be about 100 young serpents).

The length of the newborn anaconda ranges from 50 to 80 cm, but despite full readiness for independent living, at first the anaconda pups are especially vulnerable and often become prey to caimans, Brazilian otters, jaguars, piranhas, crocodiles and other predators.

Inventions and Reality

Thanks to Hollywood and Jennifer Lopez. Today, the famous film “Anaconda” was probably not watched only by a very lazy person. In that film, the snake is represented by a horrible man-eating monster. In fact, it is very far from reality. Like an attack on a man from the tops of the trees. Anaconda is too heavy for such a hunt.

Anaconda is not poisonous

There are 4 types of anacondas.

  • Bolivian Anaconda (Eunectes beniensis) - Bolivia
  • Dark Anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei) - Brazil
  • Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus) - Amazon and Orinoco River Basins
  • Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus) - Argentina and Paraguay.

What does Eunectes mean?

Eunectes from Greek translated as "good swimmer."

Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)

Anacondas live exclusively in South America:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Paraguay
  • Venezuela
  • Trinidad

The striking size of this snake

Anaconda is considered the largest snake in the world. The average length of her body can reach 10 m. The weight of these creeps is up to 250 kg. The parameters of the largest anaconda, which was caught by man, were: 11 m 43 cm

Anaconda is almost entirely aquatic lifestyle.

What is anaconda?

Her torso is colored brownish-green with brownish specks. Anacondas live in tropical forests in South America. They are comfortable in wet riverside forests and swamps, where the best places to hunt. The boa anaconda spends most of its time in ponds, camouflaging itself in the gray-green waters where brown leaves and algae float. In such places, the snake is unobtrusive and, lurking, awaits the victim, going to the watering.

In appearance - quite nice attractive face

Anaconda - absolutely not a poisonous snake. Its main weapon is the ability to strangle prey, wrapped around it with numerous rings. She grabs the victim with her sharpest teeth, twists around her with her body, tightening the chest of the animal, until it stops breathing. After this procedure, the anaconda unfolds the prey head to itself and swallows it, "putting on" on the carcass of the victim in the form of a stocking.

Adult females are much larger and stronger than males.

Anacond has another feature. Due to the presence of nasal valves on the face, it can dive under water. The snake leads the hunt for various medium-sized ungulates, also feeds on waterfowl, domestic animals, which have descended to the watering place.

Anaconda is the most massive snake of the modern world fauna.

Anaconda - classification.

  • Suborder: Snakes
  • Family: False-legged
  • Subfamily: boas
  • Type: Eunectes

The most important difference between anaconda and boas is that it is a viviparous snake!

Anaconda skull

Surely you have often heard horror stories about anaconda or watch horrific footage from films. But in reality these cases are a huge rarity. Anaconda does not attack people, because it knows that mining of this size may be too tough for it. However, there are documents in which the witnesses testified about the killing of a teenage snake. Amazon hunters, as soon as they see the anaconda, do not lose the chance to kill her.

Anaconda at its widest point is 30 cm in diameter and 100 cm in circumference

Some inhabitants of the tropics consider these snakes to be a disaster, but in fact, the opposite is true - people are a disaster for anacondas. For example, the Paraguayan anaconda almost boldly from the face of the earth, since its natural habitat was destroyed by people.

Most often anaconda can be found in tropical streams and rivers.

Other snakes man also brought a lot of suffering. For example, large python meat is considered a delicacy, and belts, purses, and shoes are made from snake skins.

Anaconda - face to face with ... - a giant turtle. I wonder who wins ...? Snake from a famous Hollywood movie

Interesting facts about anaconda

• People were afraid anaconda and considered her a bloodthirsty snake, in fact, there was only one attack on a teenager boy from the Indian tribe.

• People promised huge money for giant anaconda 9 meters, but its length is not more than 6 meters 70 cm.

• In America, anaconda was the best and most terrible character for films.

Anaconda can not paralyze the victim with his eyes! They can only enter into a stupor from their wild smell.

Description, spring view of anaconda

It is interesting! Первое официальное упоминание анаконды в художественном произведении встречается в повести «Хроники Перу» Педро Сьеса де Леона, которая была написана в 1553 году. The author claims that this information is reliable and describes the anaconda as a huge snake 20 feet long with reddish head and evil green eyes. Subsequently, she was killed, and in her stomach was found a whole deer.

Anaconda is the largest snake of the world fauna, and females grow much more males. According to the most reliable and verified information, the usual length of this snake does not exceed 4–5 meters. Swedish zoologist G. Dahl in his diaries describes an animal more than 8 meters long caught in Colombia, and his compatriot Ralph Bloomberg describes an anaconda 8.5 meters long. But such dimensions are more likely an exception to the rule, and stories about 11-meter-caught anacondas are nothing more than hunting bikes. Described in 1944, the case of the capture of a giant anaconda with a length of 11 m 40 cm, modern scientists also refer to the category of myths and believe that the size of a snake was greatly exaggerated.

The body of the anaconda is pale greenish in color, over the entire surface is covered with light brown oval spots, on the sides they alternate with a number of round grayish-yellow marks with a dark edging. Such a color is an ideal camouflage in dense tropical undergrowth among fallen foliage and skids. In the aquatic environment, this color also helps the anaconda to track down prey and hide from enemies among algae and stones.

The body of the anaconda consists of the spine and tail, and the edges of the snake are very flexible and elastic and can bend and straighten strongly when ingesting large prey. The bones of the cranium are also elastic, connected to each other by soft ligaments, which allow the head to stretch and allow the anaconda to swallow a large animal. Language, like all snakes incredibly sensitive and agile, it plays an important role in studying the environment and communication. Hard and dry scales cover the body like armor, protecting it from enemies. To the touch scales are smooth and slippery, which makes capturing anaconda very challenging. Anaconda sheds its skin at once in a solid “stocking”, for this it actively rubs against stones and snags.


Anaconda lives in the humid tropics and reservoirs of South America. Its largest numbers in Venezuela, Paraguay, Bolivia and Paraguay. Also, the anaconda can often be found in the jungles of Guyana, Guyana and Peru, but due to the fact that the reptile leads a very secretive and inconspicuous lifestyle, its numbers have only an approximate meaning. Therefore, for scientists, it is still a problem to accurately calculate the number of anacondas in a specific region. Population dynamics, respectively, are also poorly monitored and the Red Book states that there is no threat of species extinction. According to a number of scientists, anaconda does not apply to animals that are facing extermination. Anaconda lives in many state and private zoos of the world, but creating comfortable conditions for breeding is very difficult and therefore snakes rarely live in captivity up to 20 years, and the average life expectancy in zoos is small: 7-10 years.

Anaconda is a water inhabitant and lives in calm and warm waters of creeks, rivers and canals.. Also, it can often be found in small lakes of the Amazon basin. Anacondas spend most of their life in or near the water, lying on rocks or in dense tropical undergrowth, tracking their prey among the leaves and snags. Sometimes she likes to bask in the sun on an elevation, occasionally climbs on the trees. When danger lurks in the near reservoir and can be under water for a very long time. During the dry season, when rivers and canals dry up, anaconda is able to burrow into silt and coastal soil, being motionless before the onset of the rainy season.

It is interesting! The structure of the head of this giant snake, its nostrils and eyes are not placed on the sides, but on top and while tracking the prey, the anaconda hides under water, leaving them on the surface. The same property helps to escape from enemies. Diving to the depth, this snake closes its nostrils with special valves.

Despite its gigantic size, the anaconda is often the victim of a jaguar or caiman, and a wounded snake can attract the attention of a pack of piranhas, which can also attack a weakened animal.

Compared to our usual anaconda boas, much stronger and more aggressive. They may bite or attack a person, but more often they prefer not to get involved in a conflict. Left alone with the giant reptile, you need to be very careful and you should not provoke the anaconda with loud sounds or sharp movements.

It is important! An adult male is able alone to cope with anaconda, the length of which does not exceed 2-3 meters. The strength and musculature of this snake far exceeds the strength of the boa, it is considered that one turn of the anaconda body is several times stronger than one turn of the boa. The myth that these snakes are capable of introducing a person into a state of hypnosis is widespread, this is not true. Like most pythons, the anaconda is not poisonous, but nevertheless its bite can be very painful and dangerous for humans.

From time immemorial, there are many myths and legends that describe the anaconda as a predator, which often attacks humans.. The only officially recorded case of an attack on a person is an attack on a child from an Indian tribe, which can be considered an accident. When a person is in the water, the snake sees it not completely and can easily be mistaken for a capybara or a baby deer. Anaconda does not hunt for humans, and local Indian tribes often catch anacondas for tender and pleasant meat, and make various souvenirs and crafts for tourists from leather.

The famous English zoologist Gerald Darrell describes his hunt for the anaconda and describes it not as a formidable predator, but an animal that was poorly defended and did not show aggression. The zoologist caught her, just grabbing the tail and throwing the bag on the "ferocious anaconda." Once in captivity, the snake behaved quite quietly, weakly moving in a bag and hissing softly. She was probably medium-sized and very frightened, which easily explains such "peace-loving" behavior.

Anaconda hunts in the water or on the shore, suddenly attacking its prey.. It feeds, as a rule, on small mammals and reptiles. Often agouti rodents, large waterfowl and fish fall prey to the giant python. Larger anacondas can easily swallow caiman or capybaras, but this happens infrequently. A hungry anaconda can rarely hunt turtles and other snakes. There is a case when anaconda attacked a two-meter python in a zoo.

This huge snake is able to sit in ambush for long hours, waiting for the right moment. When the victim approaches the minimum distance, the anaconda makes a lightning throw, seizes the victim and twists it around with a steel grip of a muscular body. Despite popular belief, these snakes, as well as pythons, do not break the bones of their prey, but choke it, gradually squeezing the chest and lungs. Often the anaconda crawls into villages and attacks small livestock; even domestic dogs and cats can become its victims. Cases of cannibalism are known among anacondas when adults attack juveniles.

Enemies of anaconda

Anaconda has a lot of enemies and the main among them are caimans, who also live in rivers and channels and lead a similar way of life. Also anaconda is often hunted by pumas and jaguars, often young or weakened animals during the drought period, as well as males that have lost their strength after mating, are prey to predators. But the main enemy of the anaconda remains a man who hunts giant snakes for fun and entertainment. Anaconda skin is also highly valued among tourists, which makes it attractive to poachers.

It is interesting! A small Paraguayan anaconda can be bought from private sellers, its price depends on the size and amounts to 10–20 thousand rubles.