are the largest constrictor reptiles found in the
Americas. These surreptitious, strong, sleek animals kill their prey by
squeezing them to death along swampy rivers of the Amazon and Orinoco Basins.
Although it is rare, Eunectes murinus are wide and
strong enough to swallow a person whole.
The camouflage coloring and patient demeanor help anaconda snakes to hunt. Smaller
varieties have yellow skin while larger ones are more of a bright green. All
types of water boas have rounded splotches that resemble the shadows of leaves
or a leopard's
spots. Most animals are in danger of being captured, including tree birds,
waterfowl, turtles, frogs, fish, caiman, rodents, and even small
As a constrictor, anaconda snakes are not
poisonous. The smooth shape of their head, as opposed to the diamond shape of
heads of poisonous snakes like the rattlesnake, differentiates them from their
poisonous cousins. However, almost all snakes have teeth. The anaconda will bite its prey close
to the riverbank and drag it underneath the water to drown. Away from water, it
will use its strong coils to wrap around their victim and squeeze tightly enough
to suffocate them. Like most snakes, anacondas can swallow a creature much, much larger than itself
by dislocating its own jaw and stretching its neck. After a hefty meal, it may
not eat again for weeks. Another adaptation of this unique snake
is that its nostrils lay on top of its nose, rather than alongside it, so it can
swim and breathe at the same time.