Living in the swamps, flooded jungles, slow moving rivers, bogs and moves a popular tropical rainforests amphibian in South America, the Anaconda. With a length of more than 20 feet, weighing in the averages of 550 pounds and with a diameter that excels 12 inches, it’s the largest snake in the planet. Apart from being extra large and of impact, the anaconda is also a worthwhile snake. It has a number of fascinating facts to its name.
The scientific name of the green anaconda is ‘eunectes murinus’, the term eunectes is Greek term which means a ‘good swimmer’. It is said that the anaconda got it’s name from a Tamil word “anaikondran” which means an elephant killer. Another popular belief says that the term ‘anaconda’ is derived from the word “henakandeya” which in the Sinhalese language means a whip snake or a shape with enormous body.
Other than these two versions for the derivation of the term anaconda, people from different places recognize the anaconda in different names. For instance the ancient Spaniards used to call it Matatoro, which in Spanish means a bull killer. The people of North America called it by the names of “sucuri” and “yukumama”.
With this being said, among the most popular scholastic facts is that anaconda snakes are the largest mammalian predator in the Arizona’s. It’s s also on the top of the food-chain in Peru and nearby countries in South America. Along the lips of the anacondas, they’ve sensing pits. This heat sensing organ of this snake helps it to detect heat emitted by the warm blooded animals in its vicinity.
The heat sensing organs works even in dark conditions. Another special organ of the anaconda is the Jacobson’s organ or the smelling organ. The Jacobson’s organ is placed on the roof of the anaconda’s mouth. A medical fact being is that such organ works with the snake’s flicking tongue. That is, the flicking tongue collects the chemical clues from the atmosphere and the smelling organ identifies these chemical clues.
The anacondas can open their lower jaws to an extent of 180 degrees. This flexibility of the jaws greatly assists the anaconda in swallowing their prey wholesomely. Inside these flexible jaws there are usually more than 100 sharp teeth that curve backwards.
This type of teeth amount and structure gives the snake a firmer hold on its prey, hence preventing the prey from getting itself free from the hold of the predator! This set of teeth is called the ‘pterygoid teeth’. To protect themselves from the small poisonous organisms, the anaconda snakes releases an unpleasant and pungent kind of musk from its anal glands. This foul smell keeps the smaller organisms from coming too close.
With the reminder that anacondas are the only predator that can attack and kill a jaguar, this makes a life cycle of one of the richest amphibians for historic appreciation and excellent animal for sightseeing anytime nearby a zoo if you also happen to be one of the lucky people to see anacondas in your home town!