Green Anaconda (eunectes Murinus): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: A long and large-bodied snake, the green anaconda can reach a length of 25 feet (7.6 meters) and 300 pounds (136 kilograms). An average adult is about 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters). It is a dark green snake with round, black spots down the back and a black stripe behind each eye.
Geographic range: This snake lives in the northern half of South America and on the West Indies island of Trinidad.
Habitat: Also known as the water boa, the green anaconda is often found in freshwater marshes, swamps, ponds, and slow-moving streams or along their shores. The young often climb onto low branches along the water's edge.
Diet: Prey include birds, fish, turtles, crocodilelike caimans, and mammals, such as deer and monkeys. The snake kills the animals by coiling its body around them and squeezing.
Behavior and reproduction: Green anacondas are ambush hunters, waiting in the water near the shoreline for prey animals to approach. They sometimes wander onto land to sunbathe, or bask. The breeding season is in the dry season, when several males will approach a female for a chance to mate with her. The females give birth to twenty to forty-five baby snakes. Some of the young can be quite large, ranging from about 2 to 3 feet (61 to 91.4 centimeters) in length.
Green anacondas and people: Green anacondas and people have little contact. Their large size and bad temper make them poor pets. Although green anacondas can and do eat humans on extremely rare occasions, most stories of such activity are untrue.
Conservation status: This species is not endangered or threatened. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Brazaitis, P., and M. Watanabe. Snakes of the World. New York: Crescent Books, 1992.
Cleave, Andrew. Snakes and Reptiles: A Portrait of the Animal World. New York: Magna Books, 1994.
de Vosjoli, Philippe, Roger Klingenberg, and Jeff Ronne. The Boa Constrictor Manual. Santee, CA: Advanced Vivarium Systems, 1998.
Greene, Harry W. Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
Lamar, W. The World's Most Spectacular Reptiles and Amphibians. Tampa, FL: World Publications, 1997.
Martin, James. Boa Constrictors. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone Press, 1996.
Minton, Sherman A., and Madge Rutherford Minton. Giant Reptiles. New York: Scribners, 1973.
Murphy, John C., and Robert W. Henderson. Tales of Giant Snakes: A Historical Natural History of Anacondas and Pythons. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing, 1997.
O'Shea, Mark. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Independent Publishing, 1996.
Pope, Clifford Millhouse. The Giant Snakes: The Natural History of the Boa Constrictor, the Anaconda, and the Largest Pythons, Including Comparative Facts about Other Snakes and Basic Information on Reptiles in General. New York: Knopf, 1961.
Stafford, Peter J., and Robert W. Henderson. Kaleidoscopic Tree Boas: The Genus Corallus of Tropical America. Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1996.
Stebbins, Robert C. A Field Guide to the Western Reptiles and Amphibians: Field Marks of All Species in Western North America, Including Baja California. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.
Tolson, P. J., and R. W. Henderson. The Natural History of West Indian Boas. Taunton, U.K.: R & A Publishing, 1993.
"Anaconda." Nashville Zoo. http://www.nashvillezoo.org/anaconda.htm (accessed on September 17, 2004).
"Boa constrictor." Enchanted Learning.com. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/reptiles/snakes/Boa.shtml (accessed on September 17, 2004).
"In the Dark." Animal Planet.com. http://animal.discovery.com/convergence/snakes/dispatches/dispatch2.html (accessed on September 17, 2004).
Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesBoas: Boidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Boas And People, Conservation Status, Boa Constrictor (boa Constrictor): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT