Anaconda

Anaconda

Green anaconda, Common ana conda, Water anaconda

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Subfamily
Genus
SPECIES
Eunectes murinus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
10-30 yrs
TOP SPEED
16 km/h
WEIGHT
30-70 kg
LENGTH
3-4.6 m

Anaconda or “Green Nconda” belongs to the boa family and is one of the biggest existing snakes. Like all boas, it is a non-venomous constrictor. Anaconda’s females are much bigger in size than males and have clearly marked sexual dimorphism. Anacondas are mainly olive-green with black spots all around their bodies. Anaconda’s head has clearly expressed orange-yellow stripes on both sides and is narrow for its body size. The eyes, located on the top of the head, help anacondas observe the surroundings without coming out of the water.

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

Pr

Precocial

Ap

Apex predator

Na

Natatorial

Ov

Ovoviviparous

Se

Semiaquatic

Po

Polyandry

No

Non-venomous

So

Solitary

Ae

Aestivation

No

Not a migrant

A

starts with

Gi

Giant Animals
(collection)

Distribution

Geography

Anacondas’ major habitat is Latin America’s tropical flatlands. The anacondas are most frequently found in basins of the Amazon River (Brazil), Orinoco River (Columbia), and Los Llanos (Venezuela) - vast tropical grassland plain. They are semi-aquatic animals, living partly on land and partly in the water. Anacondas prefer plains, rainforests, savannas, freshwater areas as well as areas where the water is not very deep.

Anaconda habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Anacondas are nocturnal creatures and lead a solitary lifestyle. Being water-dwelling reptiles, anacondas are fast in the water while slow on land. Most of their lives they spend in the water, staying underwater for long periods. Anacondas are comparably passive in daytime heat and start moving at dusk when the heat subsides. They often pass long distances very quickly, usually when the dry season reaches its highest point or when they look for mates.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Anacondas are opportunistic apex predators, which means that they usually don’t have any general plan and take advantage of any chance to have a tasty meal. They usually feed on other reptiles, sheep, dogs, tapirs, fish, birds, wild pigs, deer, and rodents as well as any kind of available prey that they are able to catch and swallow.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
March-May
PREGNANCY DURATION
7 months
INCUBATION PERIOD
7 months
BABY CARRYING
29
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
BABY CARRYING
82 snakelets

These anacondas are polyandrous animals, meaning that a female mates with more than one male while each male mates with only one female. Anacondas mate during the dry season, which is from March to May. Usually, the process of mating lasts up to several weeks. Females don’t eat during the gestation period, lasting about seven months. For this reason, after mating, a female can eat her partner to go through this long period. Female anacondas are ovoviviparous. After the incubation period, lasting 7 months, a female gives birth to up to 82 young (though the average number is 20-40). Newborn youngsters are entirely independent: they don’t get any protection and care from their mother and have to be able to fend for themselves. Reproductive maturity is reached at the age of about 3 or 4 years.

Population

Population threats

As always, the major threats have to do with human activity. In this case, it’s the trade of exotic species. Anacondas are included in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on Trade in International Species). Anacondas are hunted and killed for their skin having huge demand on the black market. They are also persecuted in human settlements as a danger to humans and domestic animals. Anacondas are also threatened by illegal deforestation on account of the carelessness of the local authorities. This brings anacondas to habitat loss even in protected areas.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the anaconda total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

Ecological niche

Being predators, anacondas feed upon a wide variety of vertebrate animals. Young anacondas, in turn, become prey for larger predators.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The word “anaconda” has Tamil origins, coming from Tamil word "anaikolra", meaning "elephant killer." After the Spanish conquest of the area, settlers called anacondas "matatoros", which means "bull killers."
  • After long periods in the water, anacondas are frequently seen hanging from trees to dry up.
  • Anacondas don’t have scales in their cloacas. Their glands in this area smell like musk, which frighten tiny organisms, poisonous to them. So, this smell, most likely, protects anacondas’ cloacas from leeches and ticks.
  • In Latin, the scientific name of anaconda sound like “eunectes murinus” and means "good swimmer".
  • Anacondas can do without air underwater for about ten minutes and then rise to the surface to get some air.
  • An anaconda can be satisfied with only one meal over a long period of time, provided that the prey is large enough.

References

1. Anaconda Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_anaconda

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