With its lush vegetation, vast waterways and remote regions, it’s no wonder that the Amazon Rainforest is home to a huge variety of animal life covering an enormous spectrum of species.
Though a lot is known about the Amazon jungle and its inhabitants, there is still a huge amount that scientists have to left to learn. As a result, the creatures of the Amazon range from the well-documented to the almost mythical.
One of the creatures that straddles this definition is the Anaconda, the huge non-venomous snake that makes its home in the waterways and swamps of the rainforest.
Though there are many types of anaconda, the largest is the Eunectes murinus or green anaconda, an aquatic snake that can grow more than 22ft long.
Incredibly adept swimmers (their name is actually derived from the Greek for ‘good swimmers’) anacondas live throughout the Amazon river basin, hunting a variety of prey including fish, birds, mammals and other reptiles.
Especially large anacondas may even occasionally consume bigger creatures like tapirs, deer and caimans, generally overpowering their prey and constricting it before swallowing it whole.
If you want to learn more about the Amazon jungle through its inhabitants, anacondas are a great place to start as they have developed perfectly to the habitat and conditions of the jungle.
As they live throughout the Amazon basin, it shouldn’t be too hard to spot anacondas both on land and in the water during your jungle cruise, but to give yourself the best chance, ask your guide to point out the parts of your route most likely to be home to these magnificent serpents.
Though we still have a lot to learn about the Giant AnakondaAmazon jungle, so far there has been very little evidence for the existence of mythical giant anaconda in the rainforest.
However, there have been a few close encounters with oversized snakes over the years with a 25ft anaconda measured by a herpetologist in 1978 and an anaconda skin measuring a whopping 33ft preserved in the Instituto Butantan in São Paulo.
Thankfully, stories of snake hunters being killed as they try to learn more about the Amazon jungle are very rare, and anacondas don’t generally attack people. However it’s always best to exercise caution and respect the advice of your guide when it comes to getting close to jungle inhabitants.
If these amazing snakes have captured your imagination, then why not explore the Amazon on the aptly named Anakonda?
Is an expert in everything South America, his passion for the region and exploring off the beaten path makes his travel writing both useful and interesting. He has written for several mainstream publications and you can read his guides on Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. Andre is also an accomplished photographer and has been recognized as one of the best wildlife photographers in the region, his photos have been featured in National Geographic and other journals. As a travel agent Andre specializes in curating unique experiences, crafting tailor made itineraries and helping visitors make the best of their vacation, always putting the experience first