A member of the boa family, the green anaconda is the largest snake in the world. Its cousin, the reticulated python, can grow to slightly longer lengths, but the anaconda’s enormous girth makes it nearly twice as heavy.
Green anacondas can reach over 9 meters and weigh over 250 kilograms. Females are significantly larger than males. The different species of anacondas, all native to South America, are all smaller than the green anaconda, and have color varieties of yellow, spotted and Bolivian.
Anacondas live in swamps, marshes, and slow-flowing streams, primarily in the rainforests of the Amazon and Orinoco basins. They are massive on land, but stealthy and elegant in water. Their eyes and nasal orifices are located on top of their heads, allowing them to stalk their prey while remaining almost completely submerged.
To reach their monumental size, they feed on wild pigs, deer, birds, turtles, capybara, caimans and even jaguars. Anacondas are non-venomous constrictors, wrapping their muscular bodies around their prey and squeezing it until it suffocates. Jaws secured by stretchy ligaments allow them to swallow prey whole, regardless of size, and they can go weeks or months without eating after a large meal.