There are 4 species of anaconda: Bolivian anaconda, dark-spotted anaconda, green anaconda, and yellow anaconda. When people are talking about anacondas, they are usually referring to the green anaconda, which is also known as common anaconda or common water boa.
Anacondas are native to South America, are non-venomous constrictors, and are a member of the boa family. They live in areas of slow moving water like swamps, streams, and rivers. They spend most of their time in the water or sunning themselves on branches over top of water.
The green anaconda is the heaviest snake in the world. The reticulated python can be a longer snake, but the green anaconda is much thicker around and twice as heavy. Green anacondas can get up to 30 feet long and weigh 550 pounds!
The average length is more like 15-20 feet, and larger is pretty rare. Female anacondas are much larger than males. There are reports of them reaching even longer than 30 feet, but none of those have been scientifically verified.
Snakes are difficult to measure. It’s not easy to stretch them straight out and get an accurate measurement, especially a large snake like the anaconda!
They do not hunt their food, but they will lay mostly submerged in water and ambush their prey. Small anacondas will eat rodents, lizards, and fish. Large anacondas can eat pigs, deer, capybara, caimans, and sometimes even jaguars. After a very large meal, they can go several months before needing to eat again.
Anacondas give birth to live young. They are pregnant for 7 months and then give birth to an average of 20-40 young that are about 2 feet long and immediately must fend for themselves as the mother does not provide any further care.
Anacondas in the wild live about 10 years and in captivity, they can live up to 30 years.
Check out this video by National Geographic!