Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Green anaconda

By MSA 2005 Map showing swamps, marshes, slow-moving rivers habitats in northern South America


Class Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae
Genus and species: Eunectes murinus

At more than 29 feet long, weighing more than 550 pounds, and with a diameter of more than 12 inches, the green anaconda is the world's largest snake.

In the wild, the anaconda's diet includes wild pigs, deer, birds, turtles, capybara, caimans, and even jaguars. Anacondas are constrictors—they coil their bodies around their prey and squeeze until the animal asphyxiates. The snakes will then swallow their food whole. One large meal can sustain an anaconda for weeks or even months.

Females give birth to live young, usually two to three dozen at a time. The young anacondas do not need much from their mother as they are immediately able to swim and hunt.

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