Green Anaconda


The green anaconda is the world’s most powerful, heaviest, and perhaps longest snake. Green anacondas grow to 33 feet (10 m) long and weigh as much as 550 pounds (250 kg). The green anaconda uses its massive body to coil around its prey and then squeezes until the prey can no longer breathe.

The green anaconda spends most of its life in shallow water and thick waterside vegetation where it can remain unseen. Green anacondas lay in wait for deer, caimans, capybaras, and other mammals to come to the water to drink. The green anacondas skin has a pattern similar to swampy vegetation and forest undergrowth. Its body is covered with smooth olive scales with black ovals on its back.

Green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) spend much of their life in shallow water
Green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) spend much of their life in shallow water

The green anacondas eyes and nostrils are positioned on top of its head allowing it to lie hidden underwater with only its head breaking the surface. The green anaconda waits beneath the surface of the water or near the water’s edge for its prey. It then slides silently after its quarry and strikes. The green anaconda uses its sharp, back-curved teeth to grab its prey and then wraps the prey in its muscular coils. Each time the victim breathes out, the green anaconda tightens its squeeze until its victim dies.

Like other snakes, the green anaconda moves by curving its body from side to side in an S-like pattern. It uses its ribs and muscles to bend and undulate around objects such as rocks and plants or to move through water. The waves created by the muscle movement pass from front to back along the snake’s body propelling it forward.

Green anacondas live in wetlands and flooded forests of Northern South America. Green anacondas live for about 25 years. The scientific name of the green anaconda is Eunectes murinus.

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