Giant anacondas: legends and truth

The green anaconda is the heaviest snake in the world, as well as one of the longest snakes, reaching a length of 5.21m

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Giant anacondas: legends and truth

The green anaconda is the heaviest snake in the world, as well as one of the longest snakes, reaching a length of 5.21m. Adult specimens reportedly can reach 5m in length on average, with adult females having an average length of about 4.6m, generally being much larger than males, which average around 3m.

m. It is the largest snake native to the Americas. Although it is slightly shorter than the reticulated python. There are also reports of anacondas of 11-12m or even longer, but such claims must be considered with caution, as no specimen of such lengths have ever been owned by a museum and there is a lack of concrete evidence that these snakes can reach this size.

However, a cash reward of US $ 50,000 has been offered to anyone who can catch an anaconda that is 9.1 meters or longer. The longest and heaviest recorded specimen was encountered by Dr. Jesús Antonio Rivas, who had examined over a thousand anacondas.

It was a 5.21 m female, and weighing 97.5 kg. The remote location of this snake's habitat has historically made it difficult to locate, capture and transport specimens for museums. Transporting very large specimens to museums, especially before substantial decay, is quite difficult.

Reports and records without physical evidence are considered dubious especially if provided by a team without scientists, as such individuals may, at worst, be more interested in promoting themselves or telling stories, or otherwise not sufficiently trained in methods.

of scientific measurement. Observational reports of animals that have not been captured are even more dubious, as even trained scientists often substantially overestimate the size of anacondas prior to capture. Size presents a challenge for achieving breeding conditions in larger female anacondas.

While larger sizes offer the advantage of being able to have more offspring per brood, larger size limits the mating frequency of larger individuals, indicating that there is a point where the greater size of a brood may negate the advantage.

female the ability to reproduce again. The green anaconda is a snake native to South America, and its geographical distribution extends east of the Andes, in countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, the island of Trinidad, up to the north.

of Paraguay. The type locality shown is America. Anacondas live in wetlands, swamps, and slow-flowing streams, primarily in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon and Orinoco Basins. They are slow and clumsy animals on land, but they can be stealthy and elegant in the water.

Their eyes and nasal openings are at the top of their heads, allowing them to lurk just below the surface of the water and remain almost completely submerged, waiting for prey.