The green anacondas or common anacondas (Eunectes murinus in scientifc terms) are a species of constrictor snakes belonging to the Boas (Boidae) family. Join us in this article to know everything about them.
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The Green Anacondas´Anatomy
The green anacondas can reach very impressive proportions: more than 9.1 m in length, 30.5 cm in diameter and more than 250 kgms in weight. This species has sexual dimorphism since female anacondas are considerably larger than their male counterparts. Their color is dark olive brown with large black spots that alternate on their back and smaller oval spots with yellow centers along their sides. Their eyes and noses are perched on their head allowing them to breathe and see their prey even when they are submerged in water.
These scaring snakes are members of the boa´s family and aren´t poisonous. They use their teeth and powerful jaws to cling to their prey, and their quite strong body to wrap their victims to suffocate them or drag them underwater. Anacondas have small, smooth scales that grow towards the back of their bodies. As for their skin, it is loose and soft which allows them to handle a large amount of water absorption. Near their cloacal region, anacondas have spurs on their scales being those of males larger than those of females, though females are overall larger and longer snakes.
Like the electric eels , the green anacondas inhabit the north of South America, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, northeastern Peru, northern Bolivia, Guyana and Trinidad. Due to their large size, it is quite difficult for them to move on land but not in water where they spend most of their time waiting for their prey.
Their favorite habitats are slow-moving rivers, flooded forests and swamps. The queens of the Amazon jungles are excellent swimmers, since they have the great ability to get their head out of the water and leave their body inside it, which is something really incredible that many animals can´t do. To be able to hunt their prey they can last many minutes underwater.
Green anacondas are apex predators, which means that they are at the top of their food chain. They feed on large rodents, deer, fish, peccaries, capybaras, tapirs, turtles, birds, dogs, sheep, aquatic reptiles such as the alligator and even jaguars. After suffocating their prey, they gobble it up completely regardless of its size. Their enormous delicacies usually take time to be digested allowing them to spend weeks or even months without feeding. Young anacondas feed on small rodents, chicks, frogs and fish.
Let´s meet them
Green Anacondas´ Reproduction
Their mating occurs between the months of April and May; when females attract males through an olfactory signal, and these congregate around them for several weeks. During the last phase of courtship, up to a dozen males coil around the female, struggling to access her cloaca forming a characteristic ball. They can remain curled in this way for up to 15 days, often in shallow water, until the female – larger and stronger – chooses the winner.
During copulation, the male´s spurs stimulate the female´s caudal region; both cloacas come into contact, and the tails are twisted while insemination occurs. After the copulation the females carry their embryos inside their bodies while they gestate for seven months. During this time, females anacondas don´t eat since hunting their preys entails the risk of different kind of injuries. Regarding the life expectancy of the “Amazonian Queens” , it is around 10 years old.
At the top of the food chain, adult anacondas don´t have natural predators. The biggest threat to their survival is human fear since many anacondas are killed by people worried that the huge snake will attack them. They are also hunted for their skin, which becomes leather or is used as decoration. Deforestation and habitat loss are also a major threat to this species.
¿Can Anacondas Eat Humans?
Anacondas have a legendary status as «man eaters». There have been reports of humans being consumed by anacondas, but none of them has been confirmed.The scientific consensus is, however, that an anaconda could eat a human since they feed on preys that are harder and stronger than humans. It is known that green anacondas eat white-tailed deer, which weigh around 120 54 kg, so it is reasonable to assume that they could eat humans of at least the same size.
would you dare to breed them?