Anaconda, or Water Boa, a water snake of Central and tropical South America. Anacondas kill their prey—birds and small reptiles and mammals—by squeezing them until they suffocate, or by drowning them. The female anaconda retains her fertilized eggs in her body until they hatch. Ten to more than 70 young are born at a time.

The giant, or green, anaconda averages about 17 feet (5 m) in length, but some individuals grow to more than 30 feet (9 m) long and are 3 feet (90 cm) around the middle. The giant anaconda is olive green with round black spots. The yellow anaconda is smaller than the giant anaconda. It is yellowgreen with irregular black markings.

The anacondaThe anaconda is a water snake that can grow up to thirty feet long.
How Big Is an Anaconda?

Anaconda (an uh KAHN duh) is the name of two well-known kinds of constrictors. One kind is the largest snake in the world. It can grow to be more than 30 feet (9 meters) in length. All adult anacondas are more than 15 feet (4.6 meters) long. An adult snake this size can weigh over 220 pounds (100 kilograms).

These giant snakes live near rivers and other bodies of water in tropical South America. Anacondas are not poisonous. They belong to the boa family of snakes and are often called “water boas.” Anacondas prey on turtles, birds, mammals, and small caymans (KAY muhnz)—South American crocodiles.

Like most snakes, anacondas are shy. They usually defend themselves from enemies by retreating. If cornered, anacondas will bite. This, along with their great size and weight, can make anacondas dangerous to people.

Anacondas belong to the family Boidae. The giant anaconda is Eunectes murinas; the yellow, E. notaeus.