Anaconda Snake Facts | Kidadl


Anaconda Snake Facts

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The anacondas or the water boas are among the largest reptiles in the world and belong to the group of water-loving constricting snakes. Primarily inhabiting the tropical waters of South America, the anaconda has four species that are currently recognized and all belong to the genus Eunectes.

The green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), also known as the common anaconda, giant anaconda snake, sucuri, or the common water boa is the most common anaconda species and also the largest anaconda snake extant. The other well-known species is that of the yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), smaller in size than their green counterparts. Other rarer and more recently found species of the anacondas include the black anaconda snake or the darkly-spotted anacondas (Eunectes deschauenseei) and Bolivian anacondas (Eunectes beniensis).

Anacondas are stocky and muscular snakes dreaded for their ability to wrap around, suffocate, and kill their prey, which also includes humans, by causing cardiac arrest within minutes. Why else do you think these animals are known as "constrictors"?

But that's not all about the biggest snake in the world! Read on for more interesting facts about wild anacondas.

If you like reading about anacondas, also check out fun facts about green anaconda and vine snake.

Anaconda Snake Facts

What do they prey on?

Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

15-550 lb (7-250 kg)

How long are they?

9.8-39.3 ft (3-12 m)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Olive green or yellowish-green with spots

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Marshes, Swamps, Grasslands, Tropical Savannahs, Rainforests


South America









Anaconda Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an anaconda snake?

Anacondas are large constrictor snakes.

What class of animal does an anaconda snake belong to?

Anacondas belong to class Reptilia, that is, they are reptiles.

How many anaconda snakes are there in the world?

There is no data regarding the exact number of anacondas in the world. But currently, there are four documented species of anaconda.

Where does an anaconda snake live?

Anacondas are semi-aquatic snakes found in shallow and slow-moving freshwater habitats, rainforests, tropical savannahs, and grasslands. They may also be found in marshlands and swamps with slow-moving streams and rivers.

What is an anaconda snake's habitat?

The habitat of the green anacondas spans across the lowlands of tropical South America, particularly the Amazon river basin in Brazil, the Orinoco basin of eastern Columbia, and the Llanos grasslands in Venezuela that are prone to seasonal floods. These large constrictors are also found in several other countries of South America, such as Paraguay, Ecuador, the Guianas, Argentina, Peru, Guyana, Trinidad, and Suriname. The average territory size of green anacondas is 240,739 sq, mi (623,511 sq. km)

The yellow anacondas are found in southern South America and are most common in swamps, marshes, or forests where large prey is available. The droughts find them sheltering in caves and water holes along river banks while the monsoons are spent in treeless flooded areas with an abundance of aquatic preys.

Who do anaconda snakes live with?

Anacondas are normally solitary animals that live by themselves in individual hunting areas. The males and the females come together during the mating season.

How long does an anaconda snake live?

The average lifespan of the green anaconda in the wild is around 10 years. In captivity, their lifespan may go up to 30 years.

How do they reproduce?

The green anaconda is polyandrous, meaning the females mate with several males. The males mostly breed with the largest and most fertile females. The breeding season extends from March to May, during which the green anaconda can mate for several weeks. A green anaconda reaches sexual maturity at about three or four years of age.

The female becomes surrounded by the male to form a breeding ball and the mating couple looks like a mass of twisted, slithering bodies. Females are ovoviviparous, meaning that they incubate the eggs inside their bodies and give birth to live young ones. The average gestation period is about six months, after which a female green anaconda produces an average of 20-40 offspring. Usually, the clutch size is related to the size of the female with larger females producing bigger clutches. Even though the young are cared for throughout the gestation period, they receive no parental attention once they are born and are left to fend for themselves.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of all four anaconda species is listed under Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Anaconda Snake Fun Facts

What do anaconda snakes look like?

The anacondas are one of the largest constrictors in the world.

The different anaconda species have starkly different physical features. The green anaconda is dark olive green on the dorsal (upper) side and yellowish on the ventral (underside) surface. Round or oval spots are spread along most of the dorsal surface, the blotches being brownish with diffused black edges.

The body of these snakes is covered with scales that are narrow on the ventral surface but smooth and small on the dorsal side. The skin is soft and loose and adapted to prolonged periods of water absorption. The anaconda has dorsal nostrils and a pair of small eyes on the top of the head. A conspicuous black stripe runs from the eyes to the jaws. Further, the anaconda has an external horned claw (more evident in males), a forked tongue to locate prey, and a tubular Jacobson's organ in the roof of the mouth.

In comparison, yellow anacondas are smaller, have yellowish-green scales, black or brownish bands, and overlapping spots in their entire body.

How cute are they?

Anacondas are anything but cute. The sheer anaconda snake length makes them one of the grimmest animals that squeeze and crush their prey to death.

How do they communicate?

The yellow, as well as the green anaconda, can pick up vibrations to detect an approaching animal. The forked tongue and the Jacobson's organ inside their mouth help them sense chemical cues from animals in the vicinity; the males also use these organs to detect pheromones from their female counterparts during the breeding season. Besides their excellent chemosensory abilities, a unique feature of the yellow and green anaconda snakes is that they have pits along their mouths to detect heat given off by warm-blooded prey animals in the surrounding area. The auditory and visual senses of the anacondas are poorly developed.

How big is an anaconda snake?

The green anaconda snake size is massive. Even though their actual body size is debatable, anacondas can grow up to about 19.7 ft (6 m) with an average range of 9.8-39.3 ft (3-12 m). The world's biggest anaconda snake, found in the Amazon river, can reach a gigantic size. They are about twice as long as yellow anacondas which have an average body length of around 12.1 ft (3.7 m) and are somewhat shorter than the reticulated python. In both species, females are larger than males.

How fast can an anaconda snake move?

Anacondas can swim in water at a speed of about 10 mph (16.1 kph) slither on land at about 5 mph (8 kph).

How much does an anaconda Snake weigh?

The weight of anacondas has not been extensively studied but is reported to range between 66-154 lb (30-70 kg) on average. The weight can go up to 550 lb (250 kg) and as low as 15 lb (7 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female anacondas do not have distinct names.

What would you call a baby anaconda snake?

Baby anacondas are often called snakelets.

What do they eat?

Being one of the largest snakes in the world, anacondas are apex predators and are carnivorous. In the wild habitat, they hunt and eat prey by wrapping their massive length around the body of the prey, suffocating and killing the latter. They mostly eat various terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. They are also capable of swallowing whole humans.

Are they poisonous?

Despite being one of the largest snakes in the world, anacondas are not poisonous nor are they venomous.

Would they make a good pet?

The sheer strength of anacondas does not qualify them as household pets. However, humans do breed and raise anacondas in captivity.

Did you know...

Anacondas exhibit cannibalism where the female can eat one or more of its mating partners after breeding.

The 'breeding ball' of anacondas may contain up to 12 males fighting it out to mate with one female and can stay in that odd position for several weeks.

Different types of anacondas

The two most well-known species of anacondas include the green anaconda and the yellow anaconda. The green anaconda has a greater length compared to the yellow ones and in addition, green anacondas have isolated spots on their body in contrast with the overlapping blotches on the yellow anaconda.

Are anacondas endangered?

There is no concrete data regarding the number of wild anacondas. Besides, their conservation status is Least Concern by IUCN.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including monitor lizard, or rattlesnake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our anaconda coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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