Okay, this is the final installment of articles on Anacondas. In this article, we will focus mostly on two things – Anaconda Fun Facts and Do Anacondas Eat Humans? Of course, the thing about eating humans has gained some incredible amount of interest given the fact that Discovery Channel has issued some of the most erroneous facts on Anacondas and even aired a video called ‘Eaten Alive’, which failed disastrously. On top of that, the snakes have been raised to near mythical status by Hollywood movies.
So, let us waste time no further and start with our Anaconda fun facts…
Anaconda Fun Facts: 1-5
1. In the wild, the Anacondas stay alive for 10 years on an average. However, in captivity, these snakes can live up to 30 years.
2. In the savannas, the Anacondas may be smaller and lighter in size and weight respectively compared to those living in the rivers. This is because the availability of food in savannas is strongly seasonal.
3. Neonates (newborn Anacondas) are usually bigger than the babies of most of the snakes in the world.
4. The neonates are merely 1% of the body size of the mother who gives birth to them.
5. Since birth till the time they reach adulthood, the neonates gain about 500% of biomass since their birth.
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Anaconda Fun Facts: 6-10
6. Sexual dimorphism becomes visible among Anacondas after they attain the age of 1 year.
7. Male Green Anacondas are known to have a feature of storing sperm for a short period of time. They will empty this storage once mating is completed.
8. Female Green Anacondas will usually, after mating, eat one or two males because after that those females will stay without food for about 7 months.
9. Baby Anacondas are aggressive biters. They are not brightly colored, which tells the natural predators that they are not poisonous.
10. So, in face of eminent threat, the neonates will coil up tightly like a ball and hiss loudly (thanks to their large lungs that allow them to hiss loudly with a deep pitch) and when the predator comes close enough, the neonates will rapidly bite.
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Okay, we are done with our Anaconda fun facts. Now the million dollar question: “Do They Eat Humans?” Move on to the next page to find out…
Do Anacondas Eat Humans?
The answer to this question is both YES and NO.
YES: Well, there are reports that Anacondas are man eaters. However, none of them have been verified. Discovery Channel, in an attempt to prove that Anacondas do eat humans, aired an episode called ‘Eaten Alive’. In that episode, they brought a naturalist called Paul Rosolie.
Paul wore a snake-proof costume, that was meant to protect him from the digestive enzymes in the stomach of an Anaconda. The snake-proof costume or the armor was also designed to withstand the constriction force and also the powerful bites of the razor-sharp fangs of the Anaconda.
Paul’s suit was covered in pig blood and then Paul (wearing the armor), approached an Anaconda. At first, the Anaconda tried to escape. It didn’t show any interest in eating up Paul. However, since the channel was hell bent on proving that Anacondas are man eaters, Paul started provoking the snake. Eventually, the snake struck back and began constricting.
Everything was happing as per plan (apart from the provocation part) and the crew members perhaps had plans of cutting open the snake to revive Paul or perhaps hoped that the snake would regurgitate Paul.
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Unfortunately however, at a certain point, things went bad. The snake’s constriction was too strong for the armor to withstand and Paul started fearing that the constriction would break his arm. So, he cried out for help and the crew members eventually came to rescue and pulled out Paul
So, the bottom line is that unless badly provoked, Anacondas are absolutely not interested in eating humans. Discover Channel made itself a laughing stock for the whole world and yes, the channel came under severe criticism. Some people even went to the extent saying that they expected and would have been happy to see Paul being crushed to death by the powerful constriction of the Anaconda.
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NO: Anacondas are not man eaters. However, they can actually eat a human because they are known for eating tougher animals having almost the same size as that of humans. But, the Anacondas will not attack humans unless provoked or unless they feel threatened. They will usually shy away or escape.
Moreover, the places where Anacondas live are not human settlement areas. They live in the wild and human encounter is rare to none. So, Anacondas do not look at humans as preys.
The Legendary Giant Anaconda
You must have heard of the legendary Giant Anaconda that is around 40 feet and 60 feet long. Is that legend true? Absolutely not! At least, there has been no official record till date and the existence of the Giant Anaconda of mythical proportions has stayed pent up in folklores and tales.
No scientific discovery has been made so far. However, while on this topic, it is worth saying that there used to be (now extinct) a species of snake that was around 48 feet long and weighed a whopping 1,135 kilograms. The snake is known as Titanoboa and it lived some 58 million years ago to 60 million years ago. The only other snake that went even close to the Titanoboa was the Gigantophis (which grew up to 35 feet in length and lived some 40 million years ago).
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So, if the legendary Giant Anaconda that people speak of refers to the Titanoboa or the Gigantophis then, those legends and folklores couldn’t be possible true because the Titanoboa and the Gigantophis – both lived way before humans even evolved on this planet. So no! There is no Giant Anaconda.