Green Anaconda

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The Green Anaconda is one of the world's longest snakes, reaching 57 m (18-23ft) long (known to be exceeded only by the reticulated python Python reticulatus). Reports of anacondas 35-40 feet also exist but such claims need to be regarded with caution as no specimens of such lengths have ever been deposited in a museum and hard evidence is required. There is a $50,000 cash reward for anyone that can catch an anaconda 30 feet or longer, but the prize has not been claimed yet. Although the reticulated python is longer, the anaconda is the heaviest snake. The longest (and heaviest) scientifically recorded specimen was a female measuring 521 cm in length and weighing 97.5 kg. The color pattern consists of olive green background overlaid with black blotches along the length of the body. The head is narrow compared to the body, usually with distinctive orange-yellow striping on either side. The eyes are set high on the head, allowing the snake to see out of the water while swimming without exposing its body. Primarily aquatic, they eat a wide variety of prey, almost anything they can manage to overpower, including fish, birds, a variety of mammals, and other reptiles. Particularly large anacondas may even consume large prey such as tapir, deer, capybara, jaguars, black caiman, and crocodiles, but such large meals are not regularly consumed. There are many local stories and legends regarding the anaconda as a man-eater, but there is very little evidence to support any such activity. They employ constriction to subdue their prey. Cannibalism among green anacondas is also known, most recorded cases involving a larger female consuming a smaller male. Scientists cite several possible reasons for this, including the dramatic sexual dimorphism in the species and the possibility that female anacondas require additional food intake after breeding to sustain their long gestation period and the male simply being an opportunistic carnivore item, but the exact reason is not understood. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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