Yellow Anaconda

Yellow Anaconda

Paraguayan anaconda

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Eunectes notaeus
Life Span
15-23 yrs
WEIGHT
25-35 kg
LENGTH
3-4.5 m

The Yellow anaconda is a non-venomous boa species endemic to southern South America. It is one of the largest snakes in the world but smaller than its close relative, the Green anaconda. The color pattern consists of a yellow, golden-tan or greenish-yellow ground color overlaid with a series of black or dark brown saddles, blotches, spots, and streaks. Females in this species are generally larger than males.

Distribution

The range of the Yellow anaconda encompasses the drainage of the Paraguay River and its tributaries, from the Pantanal region in Bolivia, Paraguay, and western Brazil to northeastern Argentina, and possibly parts of Uruguay. These snakes prefer mostly aquatic habitats, including swamps, marshes, and brush-covered banks of slow-moving rivers and streams.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Yellow anacondas are solitary snakes that can be active both during the day and night. They spend most of their life in or around water and are sometimes known as "Water boas”. When in water anacondas usually float atop the water, with their snouts barely poking out above the surface. Although most of their time is spent in aquatic habitats, Yellow anacondas do come out onto land in order to move to other water bodies, for hunting terrestrial prey and for mating. They forage predominately in shallow water in wetland habitats using ambush predation and wide-foraging strategies. Most predation occurs from June to November when flooding has somewhat subsided and wading birds are the most common prey. These snakes are considered timid and usually try to escape from predators, however, if threatened they will defend themselves.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Yellow anacondas are carnivores. Their prey consists nearly exclusively of aquatic or semi-aquatic species, including a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and eggs. Larger specimens can prey upon larger animals, such as Brocket deer, capybaras or peccaries.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
April-May
PREGNANCY DURATION
6 months
BABY CARRYING
4-82 young
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet

Little is known about the mating system in Yellow anacondas. They are ovoviviparous and give birth to live young. These snakes usually breed between April and May. During this time females produce pheromones which attract the males. The courtship usually takes place in water. Yellow anacondas may form breeding balls, consisting of one female and multiple males, which may stay together for up to a month. The males compete for the female, and the strongest and largest male will breed with the females. Females give birth to 4-82 young after the gestation period that lasts around 6 months. After giving birth, the mother leaves her young and they are able to live on their own. Yellow anacondas become reproductively maturity when they are 3-4 years old.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats for Yellow anacondas at present. However, these snakes are hunted for their skin and used in the pet trade. They also suffer from the destruction of their habitat.

Ecological niche

Yellow anacondas are one of the top predators in the ecosystems they inhabit. They feed upon a wide variety of vertebrate animals thus controlling their populations.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The scientific name of the Yellow anaconda is 'Eunectes'; it is derived from the Greek word "Eυνήκτης', which means “good swimmer”.
  • All anacondas have heat-sensing pits which are located along their mouths. They use these pits to find prey by detecting the body heat of warm-blooded animals.
  • Yellow anacondas do not hear well; they can pick up vibrations through their jaws.
  • Newborn anacondas are usually bigger than the babies of most of the snakes in the world. They are only around 1% of the body size of their mother.

References

1. Yellow Anaconda on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_anaconda

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