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20 Anaconda Facts: Dispelling Myths, Learning Truth

Anacondas have earned a stature that is nothing short of ‘Mythical’. Who to blame for this? Well, quite a few actually! For starters, the Hollywood movie series on ‘Anacondas’ is a good place to start. For some voracious netizen readers, we can safely point to National Geographic. May sound a little weird but yes, NatGeo has some online published information that has not been properly verified. The most evident of all is definitely the information on Anacondas. This article on Anaconda facts aims towards dispelling a few myths and learning the truth. So, let us start with our journey into the world of this so-called ‘Mythical Snake’. We hope you will find this article very interesting.

But, before we start with this list of facts (which is going to be somewhat descriptive), let us take a quick look at classification.

Species – 1Eunectes murinus | Green Anaconda
Species – 2Eunectes notaeus | Yellow Anaconda
Species – 3Eunectes deschauenseei | Dark-Spotted Anaconda
Species – 4Eunectes beniensis | Bolivian Anaconda
Mythical SnakeGiant Anaconda (of enormous proportions)

Okay, now that we have the classification table in hand, we can quickly move on to the Anaconda facts list that we know you have been eagerly waiting for.

Anaconda Facts: 1-5 | Naming and Species

1. ‘Anaconda’ doesn’t refer to a specific snake type. The term actually refers to four different species belonging to the genus ‘Eunectes’. This genus ‘Eunectes’ in turn belongs to the ‘Boa’ family.

2. The term ‘Eunectes’ actually means, ‘Good Swimmer’. Eunectes is a Greek word. And yes, Anacondas are actually very good swimmers.

3. Now, we said that the term ‘Anaconda’ refers to a group of 4 different species. What are those different species? They are:

  • Eunectes murinus | Green Anaconda
  • Eunectes notaeus | Yellow Anaconda
  • Eunectes deschauenseei | Dark-Spotted Anaconda
  • Eunectes beniensis | Bolivian Anaconda

4. The Yellow Anaconda is also often known by the name Paraguayan Anaconda.

5. The Bolivian Anaconda is also often known by the name Beni Anaconda.

Anaconda Facts: 6-10 | Distribution (Where do they live?)

6. The four species of Anacondas that we mentioned only a while ago are all found in South America. They are most common in Orinoco River basin and Amazon River basin.

7. The Green Anacondas in specific are more widespread in the Brazilian Amazon basin but they are also found in ample numbers in Orinoco River basin, Guianas, Trinidad, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia.

8. The Yellow Anaconda is found mostly in southern Brazil, Paraguay, northeastern Argentina and Bolivia.

9. The Bolivian Anaconda is found in region is primarily restricted to a few parts of Bolivia.

10. The Dark-Spotted Anaconda is found in French Guiana and Brazil.

Anaconda Facts: 11-15 | How big are Anacondas?

11. Here is where things go a bit dicey. San Diego Zoo, The Nature Conservancy and National Geographic – all of them say that the Green Anaconda reaches the length of 9 meters or approximately 30 feet.

12. Rivas, on the other hand says that the maximum length they attain is 20 feet and this fact comes from their observation of over 1,000 Anacondas that they have raised.

13. As a matter of fact, the crown for being the longest snake actually goes to a reticulated python. Recorded in Guinness Book of World Records, this reticulated python measured a whopping 25 feet in length, which is around 7.6 meters.

14. Also, the Boas and Pythons of the World says that the male Anacondas measure 9 feet or 2.7 meters while the female Anacondas can reach the length of 15 feet or 4.5 meters.

15. According to RainforestCruises, the longest known Green Anaconda had a length of 17.1 feet or 5 meters. The snake was actually measured by Dr. Jesús Antonio Rivas.

Anaconda Facts: 16-20 | How heavy are Anacondas?

16. Again, this is also disputed. According to National Geographic, the biggest of the Anacondas (Green ones) can reach a weight of whopping 250 kilograms or 550 lbs.

17. The number given by National Geographic has no proper records and a snake that heavy could have easily enlisted itself in Guinness Book of World Records. That’s however, not the case.

18. William E. Duellman authored The Lives of Amphibians and Reptiles in an Amazonian Rainforest says that the maximum weight an Anaconda attains is 68 kilograms or 150 lbs. The average however stays between 45 kilograms and 68 kilograms or 100 lbs. And 150 lbs.

19. According to anacondas.org, the some of the heaviest of the Anacondas can tip the scale at 200 lbs. But… 550 lbs sounds just absurd and has not been recorded anywhere.

20. According to Wikipedia, the heaviest verified Green Anaconda weighed 97.5 kilograms or 215 lbs. The snake was weighed by Dr. Jesús Antonio Rivas and the snake he measured was a female Green Anaconda.

Sources: 1, 2, 3