The green anaconda is one of the most legendary snakes in the world. They are worshipped in some parts of the world, and feared in most every area they inhabit. The stories that are told of the green anaconda range from ridiculous to incredible. While many legends and myths surround the green anaconda, the truth is just as impressive as many of them. This is one snake where embellishment is not necessary in the least.
The green anaconda is generally considered the largest snake on the planet. While the Asian reticulated python is usually considered to be the longest, the green anaconda is the heaviest by a long shot. Considering that they rival the reticulated python in length as well, they win the prize for “largest snake in the world” in most herpetologist’s eyes. So just how big does the green anaconda get?
The green anaconda can grow to lengths in excess of 25 feet. Legends and locals that share territory with them regularly claim to see specimens that exceed 30 feet in length. What truly sets the snake apart is the massive girth and weight that green anacondas can get up to. The green anaconda can weigh over 500 pounds.
The green anaconda is not a snake to be messing around with. The green anaconda can bite, wrap and kill a full grown man rather easily. When you consider that they kill animals much larger than us, you can quickly see that we are no match for this incredible specimen without the expert knowledge of a herpetologist. A green anaconda has many rows of backward facing teeth that they use to not only hold onto their prey, but to guide it down their throats whole after death.
The green anaconda has a huge flat head that is incredibly powerful and flexible. The reason the snake is able to swallow such large prey as deer, caiman and even jaguars in some areas is because of the fact that their jaws are incredibly flexible. They are able to stretch their mouths wide and swallow large prey items whole with ease.
The green anaconda has certainly been known to kill grown men, but there are no documented cases of full grown men being eaten. Theoretically it could happen, but the largest of anacondas would have trouble getting their mouths over our shoulders. Kids, the elderly and small women could easily fall prey to a large anaconda, and documented cases of such do exist. Domesticated pets are in grave danger when they share areas with the green anaconda.
Green anacondas are found in the Amazon as well as South America and the basins of Orinoco. They love swamps, marshes and anywhere that they can hide within the water. They are very much at home in the water, and very agile despite their size while swimming. On land they are much slower, but they are still lightening quick when they strike on land or water. The green anaconda is a danger anytime and anyplace.
The green anaconda is an olive shade in color with dark spots covering their entire huge bodies. They are not universally olive, but can also be brown, green, and any other shade in between. The spots are often dark on the outside and light on the inside. These powerful snakes are quite beautiful in spite of their danger.
The green anaconda is slowly becoming eradicated as more and more people encroach on their territory. With a snake of this size, they need a vast area and amount of food. As the eco-system shrinks around them, they are finding it harder and harder to find food. This also explains some of the stories of the green anaconda from years past about huge 50 foot specimens being spotted. There were almost certainly times when such huge snakes existed. As the food sources slowed, the size of the snake shrunk to fit the availability of that food.