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Green Anaconda

Having eyes on the top of its head allows the anaconda keep watch on the surface dwellers while it hides its enormous girth under the mud or in the shallow murk. This type of ambush predation is very effective against all sorts of land and animal prey, just ask any crocodile!

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Excerpt of Silver Springs promotional video in which Ross and his son Tom wrestle a 20-foot anaconda in the water. 1964

snake reptile Helicops erythrogrammus. (1842)

The anaconda’s ability, and proclivity, to eat nearly any animal it can swallow should not be underestimated! This early 20th century print shows a green anaconda polishing off a boa constrictor unfortunate enough to be its cage mate. The anacondas are so voracious it’s possible that the boa survived for the anacondas sometimes consume their prey without bothering to kill it!

snake reptile Helicops abacurus. (1842)


Until very recently it was assumed that the animals caught by constrictor snakes died of suffocation. Though they certainly cannot breath during this last ordeal, they are more likely to die from heart trauma or excessively high blood pressure, both of which are quicker killers than suffocation.

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Since no boas get that big, and the area is Brazil, this is obviously an anaconda. A large one will clean out a barn of chickens, goats and small pigs in an evening’s sitting.


Green anakonda (Eunectes murinus)

snake reptile Crotalus oregonus. (1842)


Humans can’t help imagining some horrible death brought upon them by every creature in the forest. And the anacondas are certainly no exception. All manner of horrendous deaths are ascribed to the giant of snakes. However, there is not a single documented account of an anaconda actually attacking, killing and eating a human. I guess we smell funny!

snake reptile Crotalus durissus. (1842)

boa print 1839--anaconda

Like every fish story ever told, anacondas are always bigger in the telling. Assuming an average height of around 6 feet for the man climbing the dead snake, this snake would be about 80 ft long! There has never been one found that exceeded 30ft. But even at that, these snakes are massive, reaching 600 pounds at max.

snake reptile Coluber vernalis. (1842)

snake reptile Coluber testaceus. (1842)


All anacondas are unpredictable and irascible in the extreme. It takes little to set them off on a veritable frenzy of snapping at shadows, repeatedly biting hands, arms, faces or even themselves! We have raised several from new borns, and even with consistent care and gentle handling they will strike out with little provocation. Though their teeth are not the wicked daggers of some of the pythons, their bite isn’t pleasant, and is capable of penetrating clothing and flesh, sometimes down to the bone. Caution is always needed when handling these difficult, but still amazing, snakes.

snake reptile Coluber quadrivittatus. (1842)


Like “Taz” from the old Looney Tunes cartoons, anacondas list of eatable animals is a lengthy one! I.E.: fish, frogs, turtles, snakes, salamanders, crabs, all birds, caiman, young jaguar, small tapir, rodents, otters, capybara and certainly all farm animals that it can kill.

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yellow anaconda bw

You can’t sneak up on an anaconda. They are wary, smart, and will strike first and identify the intruder…later…if at all!

snake reptile Coluber obsoletus. (1842)

Yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)

The yellow anaconda is smaller than its green cousin but just as unpredictable and ravenous.

snake reptile Coluber guttatus. (1842)

The anacondas love to dine on fish, young caiman, water birds, boar, capybara, and to add to their distinctly odd set of facts, these are the only snakes known to eat turtles; whole and alive!

Yellow Anaconda

Rule 1 of anaconda-They Bite.
Rule 2 of anaconda-They Bite
Rule 3 of anaconda-You can’t do anything about rule numbers 1 and 2.

 Beautiful, magnificent and large are equally true ways of describing these snakes, but they are also unpredictable. A baby can be raised for a long time and never bite and then do so for no apparent reason. One associate of mine had a 10 footer bite him during a show after not giving him a problem for 5 years. So for reasons of size and aggression we don’t recommend them to people without an extensive history of snake experience.