We see from the 1997 movie “Anaconda” where a documentary film crew went deep into the Amazon rainforest to shoot a documentary centered around a long-lost indigenous tribe called “Shirishamas” along the Amazon River. However, while enroute to shoot the documentary, the crew encountered a giant snake which wanted nothing else than to squeeze the living daylights out of each and every one of the crew member and eat them.
In reality though, the snake will do it’s best to avoid being detected and the film crew will likely never ever know it was there to begin with. Plus, the anaconda will be far smaller. Therefore, what happened in the movie is simple fiction. Even though anaconda’s are giants, it is definitely not the man-eating monster Hollywood will have you believe.
In this article, we will be discussing about the anaconda, debunking the myths surrounding this giant specie of a snake.
ABOUT THE ANACONDA
Anacondas are very huge, non-poisonous snake which lives in or close to waters in warmer parts of South America.
Anaconda’s are big and have difficulty moving on land, but is best known for its excellent swimming abilities. The Greeks call it “Eunectes Murinus”, which means ‘Good Swimmer.’ The excellent movement inside water may sound impressive to us in bed, but is totally frightening if you are a prey trying to get away from this big monster in a flight or die situation.
Anaconda crushing Crocodile through it’s powerful constricting muscles.
Yes, Anacondas are constrictors and belong to the Boidae Family. This simply means that Anacondas will kill their prey by rolling their body through a coil around the unfortunate animal, before squeezing until the animal can no longer breathe. Anacondas and pythons are the two largest snake species in the world. Though some pythons end up growing longer, anacondas are the more heavier of the duo.
According to Bill Heyborne, a professor of biology and herpetologist, there are four recognized species of anaconda. They are:
1. The GREEN ANACONDA:
This type normally spots shades of olive, brownish-green, or grayish-green with patterned egg-shaped black spots. It can reach 9 meters in length (30 feet), weigh up to 227kg (550 pounds) and can measure up to 30cm(12 inches) in diameter.
2.The BENI or BOLIVIAN ANACONDA:
This is similar to the green anaconda in both size and colour. Like the green anaconda described above, it has primarily brownish green, olive, or grayish green colours alongside it’s black spots.
3. The YELLOW ANACONDA:
This giant snake has a pattern of spots, blotches, saddles, and streaks against a golden-tan, yellow or greenish-yellow background. Adult anacondas of this specie can grow to an average of 3.3–4.4meters (about 10.8 –14.4ft) in total length
4.The DARK-SPOTTED ANACONDA:
This specie is almost the same size with the yellow anaconda. It is usually brown in colour with large dark spots.
The anaconda in the above footage was said to be discovered by construction workers at a dam in Belo Monte Dam site in Brazil. The workers set off an explosion to obliterate a cave impeding their construction work before the accidental discovery of the giant snake. It measured about 32.8ft and weighed over 400 kilos.
Here are other fascinating facts about Anacondas:
•Anacondas share a similarity with crocodiles as they also have eyes and nostrils specifically designed to poke above a river’s surface. Hence, it is one of the best aquatic stealth animals.
•Anacondas give birth to live young anaconda’s. This is called ovoviviparity. This simply means that the offsprings emerge from the eggs before moving from their mothers bodies when the big birthday finally comes and come out as fully-formed youngsters. A normal healthy anaconda mother has the ability to squeeze out more than 30 babies per litter.
• The green anaconda is known as the heaviest Snake, but not the longest.
•Anacondas may take several weeks to digest food due to their slow-acting digestive system. However, it can also live for one full year without meal after consuming a very large meal.
•Most female anacondas typically have around 30 babies. However, note that the number is less for smaller anacondas and higher for bigger ones.
•Newborn anacondas are smaller versions of adult anacondas. This allows them to instinctively know how to survive alone without help from their mother.
•Anacondas rely on surprise than speed to get their food, making them stealth hunters.
• They can hunt on land and water, but prefer the water because of its more maneuverable ability inside water.
•Anaconda’s diets consists mostly of other reptiles, birds, mice, capybara, wild pigs, deer, turtles, iguanas, caimans, sometimes jaguars and mammals.
•They never stop growing in their lifetime, which explains why they become massive.
•Some people actually do keep Anaconda’s as pets, and they recommend the yellow looking one’s over the green one’s. The reason for their recommendation is because the yellow anaconda is a smaller snake and thus easier to look after or care for.
•Anaconda’s are calm pets but can turn aggressive.
If an anaconda is well-socialized, they become docile pets. However, the owner still have to be extremely careful with leaving children and other pets around since these snakes are already dangerous by virtue of their size. This is what makes them unsuited for petship(my word).
•Anacondas are known to swallow their prey whole.
After constricting the unfortunate animal, the anaconda will swallow it whole since the prey is already dead. Whether large or small, anacondas have a special mouth specifically designed to consume it’s prey without causing any problems for itself.
•Female anacondas may eat male ones after mating. This is mostly to sustain her throughout the long gestation period (6–7 months) which awaits her as she may have difficulty foraging for food while pregnant.
•Anaconda’s are not an endangered specie. This means that there a lot of them around.
• There is no verified story of Anaconda’s eating a human being despite stories and myths saying the contrary. However, Anacondas are definitely capable of eating a human, and children will realistically be the meal choice.
Hope you enjoyed this thrilling read about Anacondas.