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Anaconda

The Scoop:

The heaviest snake in the world

The anaconda is part of the boa family and lives in the steamy jungles of South America and the Amazon basin. As the largest and heaviest snake in the world, this giant rules at the top of the food chain. It’s not a picky eater, either, which is why they can weigh up to 550 pounds or more and grow to over 25 feet long.

It also is an aquatic animal, so it’s an excellent swimmer. Its eyes are located on the top of its head (like the capybara or crocodile) so it can see above the waterline while its body is submerged. It hunts mainly on the water or on land, and can see very well in the dark, making it a fearsome predator for other animals in the jungle.

Anacondas are notoriously hard to study. They’re a quiet, solitary animal that would much prefer to silently slide into the water away from strangers or danger. Scientists have difficulty learning about them in the wild because of anacondas are very good at hiding and leave no trail when they move.

Other Facts:

  • Anacondas give birth to as many as 24-35 live young at a time.
  • Anacondas eat amphibious animals, birds and turtles.
  • Anacondas are part of the boa constrictor family.
  • Anacondas are not pythons. Anacondas and pythons are part of two different families of snakes and inhabit different parts of the world.
  • Anaconda jaws are connected by extra-stretchy ligaments that allow them to open their mouths wide to swallow prey whole.
  • Anacondas are part of the constrictor family and are non-poisonous.

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