These large and threatening snakes may be a little bit scary to look at, but did you know that anacondas are not venomous snakes? There are many misconceptions about this quiet animal, which likes to slither through the tropical rainforests and swamps of South America.
It is actually quite difficult for scientists to find and study anacondas because they are not easy to find.
Even so, we’ve compiled some interesting facts about the anaconda that you might not know.
▪ Anacondas are native to South America and can often be found in the swamps, marshes, and streams of tropical rain forests in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. These creatures prefer dark and damp places to reside, which is one reason why they are difficult to find and study. Anacondas are excellent swimmers who like to be near bodies of water.
▪ Anacondas eat what they can to survive and are not terribly picky about their dinner. They are very likely to eat any prey they can catch and devour, including animals that are even bigger than they are. The ligaments and skin of an anaconda are highly elastic, so it would not be uncommon for them to eat turtles, pigs, deer, or even jaguars.
▪ Other animals anacondas have been known to dine on are: fish, birds, capybaras (a large rodent), and caimans (animals that are like alligators). The mouth of an anaconda can stretch to accommodate the initial consumption of these larger animals. Upon eating them, an anaconda may have difficulty moving normally due to the digestion process. They will often find a safe place to hide and digest their meals.
▪ Anacondas are typically dark green in coloration, and have 2 rows of black spots on their back and white markings on their sides.
▪ Anacondas are typically very large snakes – the green anaconda in particular is one of the longest snakes in the world. They have an average length of 20 feet, but can be up to 30 long.
▪ Believe it or not, anacondas can be up to 30 feet long – as long as a school bus! They can also weigh up to 550 pounds, which is equal to 11 eleven schoolchildren. Females are generally larger than the males.
▪ Believe it or not, anacondas can stay under water for 10 minutes before they need to come up for air. Typically these creatures prefer to swim with their body submerged and their head above the murky waters.
▪ Believe it or not, a particularly large meal can keep an anaconda satiated for a few weeks. Considering anacondas can eat animals thicker than their own bodies, this kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? Imagine if your dinner was thicker than you were – you would probably be full for a little while, too!
▪ Believe it or not, one of the biggest anacondas ever found weighed an estimated 2,500 pounds. The snake, called Titanoboa, was discovered in a coal mine in the Amazon rainforest.
▪ Believe it or not, when anacondas are eating mainly smaller animals, they can eat up to 40 pounds of food a day. For humans 40 pounds of food would be equal to eating your microwave, weight-wise.
▪ Believe it or not, anacondas don’t use any venom to kill their prey or attack humans – as we mentioned before, these creatures are not venomous snakes. To eat their food, anacondas use their body to restrict their prey and then swallow the prey without needing to chew.
▪ Despite carrying no venom, anacondas can still bite – they do have fangs, after all. People have been bitten by anacondas before, but they have survived with no complications because these bites are not poisonous.