The green anaconda is the largest snake in the world – not because it is exceptionally long, but because it is so heavy, weighing up to 220 kilograms! These solid snakes can measure 30 centimetres in diameter and grow to lengths of 8 metres. Their size makes them sluggish on land so they spend a lot of time in the water. They are powerful and graceful swimmers, and, with just their eyes and nostrils poking out of the water, can easily surprise their prey. The snakes are usually olive-green to brown with black ‘eye-spot’ blotches.
Green anacondas are found in South America in rainforest areas with swamps, rivers and basins, especially around the Amazon and Orinocco rivers.
Anything it can catch – typically fish, birds, reptiles and mammals. Green anacondas are non-venomous and kill by coiling themselves around their prey and then suffocating or drowning them. Despite movies of green anacondas taking humans, this has not been officially recorded.
During mating, several males will coil around the female in the water, sometimes for several weeks. Females keep their eggs inside them and give birth to 20-40 live young, which are immediately able to swim and hunt.