Made infamous in the film of the same name – Anaconda – these non venomous, constrictor snakes are found in the swamps and jungles of south America, specifically in Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana and Argentina – though not on Goway trips to Latin America!
- The green anaconda is the largest snake in the world, when both weight and length are considered. It can reach a length of 30 feet (9 meters) and weigh up to 550 pounds (227 kilograms).
- When it attacks, it springs from the water and grabs the unsuspecting creature with its small, sharp teeth, quickly wrapping its body around the victim and squeezing it until it stops breathing. It then maneuvers its prey into its mouth, usually headfirst, and powerful muscles contract in waves to crush the meal and push it down to its stomach.
- One Spanish name for this snake is matatoro, which means “bull killer.”
- The giant snake opens its mouth wide enough to swallow its victim—sometimes fish or caiman (relatives of crocodiles) and even jaguars and small deer.
- Anaconda jaws are held together with stretchy ligaments so they can open wide enough to swallow prey whole. (watch below to see just how far the jaw can “dislocate”)