Love them or loath them, snakes have been an endless source of fascination for as long as mankind has existed - but what exactly are they? Well, snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes. However they can be confused by similar looking legless lizards, but are luckily are further distinguished by their lack of eyelids and external ears!

As interesting as that is, most people are interested in how big they get. So, just how big is the largest snake in the world?

The Giant Green Anaconda

The world’s largest snake is also the world’s biggest snake but not necessary the world’s longest. The world’s largest snake is the Giant Green anaconda, and is found in Amazon rain forest of South America.

The anaconda is of a subfamily of non-venomous boas found in Central, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. They can grow as long as 8 metres long, as wide as a fully grown man and can weigh as much as 250 kilogrammes.

The green anaconda is usually an olive green snake with black spots along the body. Like any other snake, the head is narrow with eyes set high on the head.

How does the Giant Green Anaconda mate?

During mating, several males are known to wrap themselves around one female in an attempt to mate. referred to as "breeding balls," in which up to 12 males wrap around the same female and attempt to copulate. The group could stay in this position from 2–4 weeks. Nature sees to it that the fittest male -  usually the strongest and largest male - should win and therefore have the privilege of mating with the female. But since females are far stronger they can sometimes be biased to this law of nature and decide on herself which male to mate with regardless of the size and strength of the male. Mating is followed by a gestation period that lasts approximately 6–7 months. The species is ovoviviparous, with females giving birth to live young. Litters usually consists of 20–40 offspring, although as many as 100 may be produced. After giving birth, females may lose up to half their weight.

Can Anacondas Swim?

Unfortunately for most of its prey, the Giant Green Anaconda is a great swimmer and will comfortably work on its prey when in water. It is also capable of finding its prey on land but is rather slow and sluggish out of the water.

What does the Giant Green Anaconda eat?

The diet of an anaconda will consist mainly of fish, birds, and small mammals like deer, antelopes, rabbit, jaguars, and snakes, reptiles, or anything smaller than itself. After breeding, a female anaconda can sometimes feed on its male counterpart.

Is the Anaconda Venomous?

Luckily for you the anaconda is not venomous but that doesn't mean it won't kill you and feed on you. It manages this by coiling itself around you, and then by using massively powerful constrictions, will squeeze you preventing breathing and raising your body’s blood pressure two to three times its normal rate. These constrictions will continue to increase until your death,  most likely caused by a heart attack, or suffocation!

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Based on an article by http://ngureco.hubpages.com/hub/Worlds-Largest-Snake-Biggest-Snake-in-the-World-And-Longest-Snake-Ever
Photo care of http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/green-anaconda/

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