Anacondas belong to the boa constrictor family and grow to a length of between 9 feet and 29 feet, which makes them the largest snakes in the world. Their natural habitats are the rain forests in South America but escaped pet anacondas recently have made unwelcome appearances in U.S. habitats where they disturb natural balances by endangering local species. There are four types of anacondas from various natural habitats.
Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes Notaeus)
Yellow anacondas reach lengths of approximately 10 feet and are known to live to approximately 25-30 years. They have a yellowish and brown color and are covered in black blotches. Yellow anacondas are aggressive and their habitat are the swamps, marshes and rivers of Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Western Brazil and North East Argentina. Even though they can live and move on land, they prefer to stay in the water were they also will breed during the rainy season. Yellow anacondas carry eggs with 20 to 40 young that will hatch during birth, and will be fully grown at the age of 3. Adult anacondas have no other natural predators apart from humans, but young anacondas often are food for crocodiles and large jungle cats.
Green Anaconda (Eunectes Murinus)
Green anacondas can grow up to 29 feet and weigh approximately 550 pounds. The habitat of the green anacondas are the swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams of the Amazon and Orinoco basins, and like the yellow anaconda, they prefer to live in the water. Due to their enormous size, green anacondas have to eat a large amounts of meat, mainly wild pigs, deer, birds, turtles, caymans and even jaguars. The snake often catches its prey when hidden in the water, waiting for the animals to come for a drink. All anacondas are not venomous but squeeze their prey to death by coiling their bodies around the quarry which then is swallowed whole. Like the yellow anaconda, the female green anacondas give birth to a litter of 20 to 40 baby snakes. Green anacondas live until approximately 10 years of age.
Dark-Spotted Anaconda (Eunectes Deschauenseei)
The dark-spotted anaconda is only found in the habitats of northeast Brazil in the Amapá and Pará provinces, though these rare snakes also have been found in Guyana, in the coastal regions of French Guyana, and on the island of Marajo in the Amazon delta. So far, only 102 dark-spotted anacondas have been caught, of which the longest adult snake measured 9.8 feet. The dark-spotted anaconda prefers water to land and hunts in the vegetation of the river banks. This anaconda is beige to light yellow in color, with black spots and five distinct lines on its head. In captivity, it has reached a lifespan of 23.2 years.
Bolivian Anaconda (Eunectes beniensis)
The Bolivian anaconda was first discovered in 2002 by the German herpetologist Dr. Lutz Dirksen. It so far has only been found in the Beni province in Bolivia where it lives in the water. The Bolivian anaconda is brown with some black spots that are larger than on other anacondas. The snake grows to a size of 13 feet and prefers habitats without forests but with vegetation. As of July 2011, research concerning the habitat and the habits of the snake was still in progress.
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