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Updated February 22nd, 2024 at 13:23 IST

Green Anaconda Found In Amazon Forest, The 200kg Species Said To Be The Largest Snake In The World

Measuring 26 feet and weighing 200 kg, the Northern green anaconda is the largest and heaviest snake in the world.

Northern green anaconda
Northern green anaconda | Image:Prof. dr. Freek Vonk on Instagram
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Scientists were filming for the upcoming Nat Geo series Pole to Pole with actor Will Smith, as part of a two-decade-long effort to study the genetic differences among anaconda species, encountered a reptilian colossus measuring 26 feet and weighing 200 kg, in Ecuador. This is now touted to be the largest snake species in the world.

The majestic green anaconda

According to an MDPI journal, ‘Disentangling the Anacondas: Revealing a New Green Species and Rethinking Yellows’, the scientists previously thought that it was just a single snake species, while it is actually two. The Northern green anaconda's (scientific name - Eunectes akayima) reclassification has clarified that not only is it way bigger than its Southern counterpart, but it is also very different and a new species altogether. Even in the green anaconda species, the female is bigger, with a larger appetite than the male species.

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The heaviest and largest snake

The green anaconda | Image: Instagram - Prof. dr. Freek Vonk

Scientists have managed to unravel compelling information about its divergence from its closest relative, the southern green anaconda, earlier believed to be the same snake species. The newly identified species branched from its known counterpart approximately 10 million years ago. These snakes feed on caimans, capybara, deer, and tapirs and kill their prey by coiling around them and then constricting them. The majestic green anaconda can hunt its prey even underwater.

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What does the discovery mean?

The discovery of this giant anaconda not only expands our understanding of the biodiversity within the Amazon rainforest but also emphasises on the critical importance of conservation efforts for these rare species in our ecosystem. It also reiterates the fact that there are many things in this diverse world that we have yet to stumble upon. Just when we think we know it all, nature has a way of surprising us.

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Published February 22nd, 2024 at 13:23 IST

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