Information on Anaconda Snakes Page 2


Anaconda Information

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Water boa is a great alternative name for the Anaconda, the most aquatic of the boas. It is never found far from water, swamps and dense rainforests are its favorite place to live and hunt. Like the crocodile, the anaconda's nostrils are on top of its snout so it can breathe easily while it is swimming.

The species is variable in color and size giving rise to sub-specific names. Black patches on the anaconda's back combine with dull background color to blend in with the thick, wet vegetation of its habitat.

Nocturnal in habit, the anaconda lie up during the day in shallow waters or sunbathe on a low branch, usually over water.

Anacondas hunt by lying by the water’s edge waiting for its prey to come down to drink. Striking quickly with the head and grabbing the unlucky prey, anacondas kill their prey by dragging it underwater so that it drowns. Sometimes the anaconda will even hunt on land.  Snakes have a special jaw attachment that allows an anaconda to swallow such a large animal. A meal of this size will last the anaconda for several weeks. During this time the snake rests until the prey has digested.  Typically, because they are cold-blooded and require less food to survive than warm-blooded mammals, Anacondas only need to feed 4-5 times a year.

Few observations have been made on the breeding cycle. Anacondas are solitary animals except during mating season. They typically have a territory that they remain in. Anacondas are viviparous, which means that the eggs are incubated internally and the young are born alive. The gestation time for Anacondas is approximately 6 months. The average is around 20-30 hatchlings, but as many as 100 births from one female have been observed. They are only about two feet long and are very vulnerable to predators at this stage.

Future of the Green Anaconda

The greatest threat to the Anaconda is man. Most local people kill these snakes on sight, out of the fear that they are man-eaters. In most instances, if an Anaconda senses humans in the area, it will retreat in another direction. Human death by Anaconda is quite rare. Habitat destruction is another problem that the Anaconda faces.


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