Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anacondas have scared and entertained us on the big screen in the last few years! These deadly reptiles often provide the much-needed thrill in most adventure movies. But are anacondas really as deadly as they seem? Where did these anacondas originate from and what about their lifestyle patterns? If you are really not intimidated by their deadly appearance, here’s a look at the anaconda habitat and some details associated with their behavior patterns.

Facts about the Anacondas:

Origins of the Anaconda:

The origins of the term Anaconda is under much debate. (There are two versions of the same.) There have been many speculations about the name anaconda; some believe it is derived from the Sinhalese word-henakandaya. Henakandaya means whip snake or something that has a giant body. The other version of the story says this name was derived from a Tamil word, anaikondran. Anaikondran means elephant killer. Some Spanish settlers in the ancient times referred to the Anaconda as the Matatoro or the bull killer. Natives from North America used names such as sucuri or yakumama for these deadly reptiles. Anacondas have also been named as Eunectes (Latin name), which is derived from a Greek word that means a good swimmer.

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anacondas belong to the four species of the aquatic boas. Boas are classified under snakes and these belong to the Boidae family. These Boa constrictors give birth to live young.

The size of the anacondas is what is probably considered to be frightening to many. There have been many arguments regarding the same. Some claim to have measured an anaconda that was 11.43 meters. (In length) This is according to the discovery by Lee Krystek who claims to have measured the same in a 1944 petroleum expedition. Others claim the anacondas can measure up to 45 meters. Experts have the opinion that anacondas can measure up to 23 feet in length.

Many early reports by people who have claimed to go on an expedition have different stories to report. Mike Dash, a historian claimed to have witnessed anacondas that were 30 meters in length. These claims were supported with photographs of the same. With all these reported sightings and claims, there was an interesting move by the Wildlife Conservation Society in the early half of the 20th century. This society offered a cash reward to anyone who manages to capture a live snake that is more than 30 feet in length! So far, the largest captured anaconda in the wild was 17 feet in length. This prize money, thus, still needs to be claimed.

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Habitat:

Anacondas are spotted most likely near rivers, swamps and pools of the Amazon Rainforest. These large reptiles are known to feel at home in water, rather than on land. Anacondas can stay submerged for over 10 minutes in water; a ploy it uses to catch its prey. Anacondas mainly hunt in the night in swampy areas. It also tends to drift with the water with its head breaking the surface occasionally. Its eyes and nostrils are placed on top of the head; this itself enables it to catch its prey while the rest of the body lays submerged in water. Many anacondas are found in the tropical rainforests and although their numbers are not facing any threat, many of these species are definitely affected due to loss of their natural habitat. Anacondas also face threat from man because they are hunted for their skin.

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anaconda Food Chain

Anacondas are most often spotted in the Guianas and throughout the regions of the tropical South America and the Orinoco Basins as well. It is rumored some of them have been seen east of Andes whereas the Yellow Anaconda has been spotted south of Argentina.

The savannas, grasslands and the deciduous forests are also habitats of the anacondas. When out of water, the reptiles are seen by the water’s edge, basking in the sun or in shallow caves nearby. The kind of water bodies an anaconda prefers are mainly swampy and calm surfaces because it prefers to lay submerged or let the natural current carry it along rather than living in swift moving rivers.

There have been a few incidents, which have a mention of anacondas being bred in captivity. One such example is an anaconda that successfully gave birth to 14 babies on the 1st of January this year. Here’s hoping these creatures manage to have a life in their natural environment without all the interference from man.

By Kashmira Lad
Article Source: buzzle.com