The anaconda is the heaviest snake, but it may not be the biggest – the reticulated python is the other contender for the longest snake. The anaconda can weigh 550 pounds or more, but usually weigh a few hundred. They can be 12 inches in width. The female will usually grow bigger than the males. They are coloured yellow or green with black spots. The underside of the scales on the tail are different to each snake.
The anaconda is found in tropical rainforests and grasslands in South America. They prefer to lie in the water and can remain submerged for 10 minutes.
This takes place in the water during the rainy season. Anacondas are viviparous, which means they give birth to live young. The babies develop over 6 months and a typical litter is 20 to 40 babies, usually 2 feet long at birth. Within hours they can swim, hunt and care for themselves.
The anaconda lies coiled up in a pool or at the edge of the water. They ambush their prey when it comes for a drink. It kills by grabbing its prey and dragging it underwater, drowning it, or squeezing it to death.
This site was last updated 03-02-2007