Anacondas are giant snakes that belong to the boa family. This family includes about 43 species.
The most famous species of anaconda is the green anaconda, the largest snake on the planet by girth and weight. It is found in the tropical rainforests of South America and is famous for its hunting abilities and incredible strength.
Also, these huge snakes even can stay underwater for around 10 minutes on a single breath and give birth to live young. So, in this article, we will now talk about some amazing facts about anacondas.
Interesting Anaconda Facts
👉 Physical characteristics of anaconda
Anacondas are some of the largest snakes on the planet, and they are known for their impressive strength and size.
The green anaconda may grow up to 30 feet in length and weigh more than 550 pounds, making it the heaviest snake in the world.
The female green anaconda is usually larger than the male and may grow up to 25 feet long. These animals have a dark olive, green, or brownish color, with black bands or spots that run along their sides.
👉 Anacondas are members of the family called boas.
Anacondas belong to Boinae, the family of non-venomous, large snakes collectively called boas. Today, there are mainly four species of anaconda: yellow anacondas, green anacondas, dark-spotted anacondas, and Bolivian anacondas.
The biggest and most famous among them is the green anaconda, which lives in river basins and wetlands throughout tropical South America, including parts of Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Bolivia, Surinam, Ecuador, and Peru.
These green anacondas are on their way to becoming popular as an invasive species in some areas of southern Florida, like the Burmese python.
👉 Anacondas have muscular, long bodies.
Anacondas have a muscular, long bodies designed for power and strength. They can constrict their victim, meaning they can wrap their bodies around their prey and squeeze until the animal can no longer breathe.
These animals have flat, broad heads, with small eyes and nostrils on top of the head, allowing them to breathe and see their prey while submerged in water.
👉 Anacondas are carnivores but not picky eaters.
Anacondas are carnivorous animals and usually consume a diet of large mammals, such as wild pigs, deer, and even capybaras, even if they weigh around 1240 pounds.
These snakes even consume fish, birds, and reptiles. They use their strong muscles to constrict their prey, eventually suffocating them before swallowing them whole.
These huge snakes can even go without food for several months after a large meal. Also, these snakes will eat almost anything, including bird eggs, amphibians, and mammals.
👉 The behavior of these strong snakes
Anacondas are usually solitary animals and only come together during the mating season. They are most active at night and spend most of their time in the water.
These animals can also move on land and climb trees to catch prey. These unique snakes are known for their ability to ambush their prey, lying in wait until their victim is close enough to strike.
👉 The green anaconda can unhinge its jaw.
Anacondas cannot chew their food. They will coil around their prey, squeeze it until it can suffocate, and consume the body whole.
In the case of larger prey, it can unhinge its jaw, widen the opening, and then consume the prey’s body, breaking down inside the anaconda as it starts to digest it. After a big meal, it doesn’t require feeding again for several weeks.
👉 Anacondas give birth to live young.
Some kinds of snakes, including garter snakes and anacondas, are ovoviviparous.
Generally, their offspring emerge from eggs inside their mothers’ bodies, and then they are born in life. A healthy anaconda mother can bear more than 30 babies per litter.
👉 Anacondas are excellent swimmers.
Though these green anacondas are sluggish and slow on land, in the water, they can still easily reach top speeds of up to 16 km/h.
This, combined with the fact that they may stay underwater for around minutes in a single breath, makes them one of the deadliest predators in South America’s long rivers and wetlands.
👉 They can stay underwater for almost an hour.
Though green anacondas cannot breathe underwater, this still cannot be counted as their drawback because these deadliest serpents in South America can stay underwater for almost 50 minutes.
In contrast, an average person can only hold their breath for 30 seconds to two minutes.
👉 Green anacondas have many teeth.
Just because large anacondas don’t use venom to kill their prey, they are still like other types of snakes with many teeth. In fact, these huge anacondas have around four rows of teeth in their upper jaw.
However, the teeth of these huge serpents are super long compared to other snake species. The reason is one of the methods by which they hunt their prey is by forcefully dragging them into water.
The long teeth of anacondas can offer a better grip on even those feathery creatures that anacondas love to eat.
👉 Female and male anacondas show the biggest size difference
The difference in looks between females and males of the same species is known as sexual dimorphism.
Green anacondas showcase the biggest size gap among different terrestrial vertebrates. Whereas males can reach an average length of almost 10 feet, their female counterparts may grow more than 17 feet and perhaps almost 25 feet long.
👉 The “breeding ball” of anacondas
Between the months of March and May, male green anacondas search for female anacondas for mating.
Frequently, multiple male anacondas will pursue the same female anaconda, resulting in a huge mass of male snakes ‘writhing’ around only one female competing for courtship, which is known as a breeding ball.
👉 Green anacondas may showcase cannibalism.
As females are the larger of sexes, they have been reported to eat smaller male anacondas.
The reason may be that male anaconda is a good source of protein for an expecting mother, usually in areas with a really strong dry season where life may be much harder to survive.
Even though there is no doubt that green anacondas might kill and consume a human, there is no evidence or verified reports that any anacondas have ingested people.
👉 In several places, green anacondas are an invasive species
Green anacondas may live in many places. However, that doesn’t mean these animals belong in all these places.
There have been a few or occasional sightings of these reptiles in Florida. While the marshy places may look like the perfect home, these green anacondas are considered invasive species here and may cause several issues for the ecosystem.
👉 These large reptiles have some predators.
However, even with caimans and jaguars as predators, this large green anaconda can still be a predator that can still be difficult to hunt as prey.
However, these jaguars and caimans mainly prey on juvenile and baby anacondas because full-grown anacondas are very difficult to hunt down.
👉 Anacondas can track the heat of their prey.
Snakes generally have a long list of excellent senses and have found unique methods to use those senses.
For reptiles like an anaconda, their heat-sensing ability, similar to a sixth sense humans don’t have, is one of their primary tracking methods.
Due to being aquatic creatures, the water around them obscures their vision. Hence, they depend on this heat-sensing ability until they can poke their head above the water only for a sec to gauge the distance between their prey and them.
👉 Their nostrils and eyes are on top of their heads.
Anacondas need to poke the tip of their head out from the water to check the distance of their prey and even breathe because they have their nostrils and eyes on their heads.
So, even in the murky water of the Amazon, they can relax in the water and notice everything by poking their heads a little.
👉 Anacondas may move through sidewinding.
Sidewinding is a certain form of moving that some kind of slithering creatures, like snakes, can perform by a large part of their body, like the letter ‘J,’ and then extending the length of their body from that weird J structure.
It helps snakes move quickly and can even send them in a direction opposite of where you might expect them depending on the coils of those snakes’ bodies.
👉 Anacondas are killed for their skin.
The skin of an anaconda is considered a commodity because people like the pattern of the snake.
As there is no way to determine how many anacondas are alive, hunting these reptiles is frowned upon, mainly because these are dangerous animals to hunt.
However, the green anacondas are protected by law in some countries, including Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia, though poaching and hunting can be a major threat to these serpents.
👉 Anacondas may live around 30 years in captivity.
In the wild, anacondas usually live for almost 10 to 12 years. However, this number can increase in captivity because of the food they can enjoy, whereas in the wild, it is challenging for them to get the amount of food they need to survive, and when they get older, hunting becomes a lot harder task for them.
Thus, in captivity, they can live much longer than in the wild.
Thus, anacondas are interesting creatures famous for their impressive size, strength, and many other unique characteristics.
At the end of this article, we learned about 20 really amazing facts about these fascinating reptiles of our planet called anacondas.
These facts offer us a clear picture of this interesting creature of the Amazon. If you want to collect some more amazing facts, you may visit our website.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.