Usually 16 feet in length but may reach 33 feet or more and weigh more than 550 lbs.
Throughout the basins of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers in South America
Streams, swamps, and pools of the tropical rainforests
Wild - Deer, wild pigs, large rodents that come down to the water to drink. May also attack jaguars and caiman.
Zoo - Rats, mice, rabbits
Very large, heavy snake, brownish-olive green with large, black egg-shaped spots.
- Heaviest of all snakes, it is more comfortable swimming than dragging its bulk on land.
- Lies in wait, coiled in the shadows, for prey; occasionally preys on jaguars, but never attacks humans, even from the water
- Once human presence is sensed, it will glide quietly away; solitary, but sometimes forms small groups
- Sharp teeth that seize and hold prey; strong muscles that enable constriction of prey
- Very elastic jaws that allow swallowing of prey in whole state
- The fact that it is cold-blooded, has a low metabolic rate, and its ability to consume large quantities of food whole allows snake to survive for months and, in some cases, possibly years without food.
Gives birth to live young, producing 20 - 40 young, each about 2 feet long; young independent within hours of birth; feeding on frogs and fish until big enough for larger prey.
CITES App. II; Not threatened; hunted by the skin trade
"Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia," Vol. 6 Reptiles, Dr. Bernhard Grzimek