Anacondas are found in South America (specifically in the tropical rainforests) and are called water boas. One kind may grow as long as 30 feet (9 meters) or more! But, all adult Anacondas are longer than 15 feet long. No other South American snake even approaches this length.
Anacondas have olive-green skin, often with many black rings or spots. It is know to find a light brown, or non-spotted/ringed Anacondas. These giant slitherers live near water, and often swimming in them. Anacondas are water snakes, bear live young, and are good swimmers.
The principle foods they eat are birds, and small mammals. They are constrictors, which means they don't bite to kill their prey. Anacondas kill their prey by wrapping their coils tightly around to keep them from breathing. When they attack a mammal in water they squeeze it tightly and hold it underwater to suffocate it. Only the largest Anacondas attack larger mammals.
Like most snakes the Anaconda will defend itself be retreating or when cornered it will bite. Their bite is not venomous, so the thick-skinned animals may not even notice this attack. They have many teeth, and can inflict deep, painful wounds.
These snakes have excellent muscle control. It is true that they can lift their head and about 2/3 of body length up and lift it to another branch. They are extremely strong, and if they were to begin to wrap around a person, it would probably easily crush a child under 15 or injure an adult over 15 years old.
These large snakes are members of the family called Boidae. They are classified as Eunectes murinas and E. notaeus.
In the picture below a boy on an Amazon tour holds an Anaconda in a zoo in Peru. The snake may look not too long, but really it is about 10 feet! It drapes around his back, and over his shoulder. He holds the tail and the head so that not to let the snake coil around him. If that was to happen, the zoo official in the background would leap up and with his expert knowledge, (he was trained, and knows what to do) he would save the day!
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