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Description and Types of Snakes Anaconda

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    Snakes-Anaconda.

    Name, description and family.

                Snakes are long, crawling reptiles with cylindrical scaly bodies and forked tongues. The Anaconda, also known as water boa is one of the largest and most powerful snakes on earth. Its scientific name is Eunectes murinus. They are members of the Boidae family which consists of world’s giant snakes. The two common anacondas are the green and the yellow anaconda. The green anacondas are considered the largest and strongest in the Boidae family. They have an average length of twenty feet with some ranging between eighteen to thirty five feet long with an average body diameter of twelve inches.

    They are said to be the heaviest snakes in the world weighing around one hundred and fifty kilograms. though some weigh up to five hundred pounds (two hundred and fifty kilograms). Extreme science. (1998). Anacondas have a greenish to yellow-brown scales and are identified by their yellow and black underside which is considered unique to each Anaconda. Female Anacondas are usually larger than males of the same age. Anacondas are carnivorous creatures though also are considered cannibalistic where they feed on each other. It is common with female anacondas where they feeds on mature males and smaller Anacondas of different sexes in search of potential proteins essential during the breeding season. Their diet mostly encompasses of aquatic and amphibian animals, Mammals, birds, fish, ducks and turtles.

    They are non-venomous and very active by night. They kill their prey by   squeezing and drowning till the prey is suffocated. They then swallow whole and in the body, their bones play the role of crushing the meal. Prefers leaving in swampy areas and slow moving rivers or flooded forests of the Amazon. Anacondas are not active hunters and therefore prefer waiting for the prey.

    They spend most of their time hidden near or in shallow waters from unsuspecting prey.

    They are known to be excellent swimmers and spend most of their time in water though at times they do come out to dry themselves on land. Some times they climb on branches to dry off. They use water to rapidly escape predators and to conceal while searching food. They are excellent sensors of both smell and taste. (David.B.2008)

    Anatomy.

                Like all snakes, Anacondas are cold blooded. Their body temperature is the same as that of the environment. They have a poor senses of sight and hearing and primarily detect their prey by flicking their tongue. Like other snakes they have forked tongues which act as chemical collectors, drawing chemical “smells” into the mouth. This   mechanism is mostly used by males to detect females when in reproductive state.

    Anacondas are greenish-brown in color with a double row of black oval spots on the back and smaller white markings on the sides. Their scaly skin glistens but feels dry to touch.

    The longest ever found was 37.4 feet (11.4m) long though it is speculated to have even bigger ones not seen yet.

    Physiology.

    They have nostrils on top of the snout, which makes breathing easier when in water. Due to their poor eyesight and sense of hearing, they depend mostly on smell where it uses its tongue. Green Anacondas have excellent sense of smell. They have strong jaws and muscular bodies, which allows them to swiftly attack and hold tight onto their prey once caught. In addition, their mouths have unique jaws made of elastic ligaments connecting its upper and lower jaws. This allows them to swallow prey even larger than its mouth.

                With the greenish tinge to their scales and their irregular pattern gives them an effective camouflage as it searches for its prey. They can also hold breath under water for around ten minutes, which enables it ambush, and capture preys with ease.

    Their large size gives them the advantage to occupy the niche of the largest predator in their range.

    Their ability to climb on branches is made possible by their prehensile type of tails.

         Feeding habits.

             Anacondas are found in the Boidae family which are known for their constrict behavior to their prey. They are carnivorous but also said to be cannibalistic. They are not good hunters and mostly wait for their prey to cross their paths. They swiftly bite to hold the prey, coils around them and steadily squeeze with incredible strength to suffocate the victim. The sheer strength cuts out the victim’s breath thus suffocating it. The prey then is ready to be consumed and it is swallowed whole, head first. Alternatively, they hold prey under water, till suffocation. Here it seldom crushes the prey. This though is less efficient and time consuming.

    It can consume upto forty pounds a meal. Due to their slow digestive system and low metabolism they do not feed frequently. They stay for several weeks or possibly months between meals. The record for the longest time between meals was 2 years.

    Locomotion.

     Like all other snakes, anacondas use the same mode of movement. They contract their rib muscles which consequently propels the snake silently ahead. This is the general movement of all large snakes.

    Mating.

    Mating takes place in water during the rainy seasons and the cooler months of the year (June, July, and August).

    At the onset of annual rains, females secrete pheromone, which has sweet scent to meant

    to attract males for breeding. One female is approached by two to twelve males for

    courting.

                When males are ready to mate, he holds the female by wrapping his tail around her and she responds by raising her head up to meet the male. Gestation is dependent upon temperatures and usually takes six months or more (182 –288 days). The female then can give birth in water under captivity or on land in the wild. Young Anacondas are twenty-six inches (0.7m) long at birth and are able to swim immediately. after birth. They reach sexual maturity three to four years

    Reproduction.

    Anacondas interact rarely, and it is sparked mostly by the mating season

    . They have an incubation period of eight to twelve weeks.

    Anacondas, are a different lot of snakes in terms of procreation, they do not lay eggs rather their

    Eggs

    are incubated internally and young ones given birth alive.

    Twenty to thirty hatchlings are born but also a hundred have been observed.

    References.

    David.B. (2008).Anaconda.Retrived on 4/11/2008 from;

               www.amersol.edu.pe/ms/7th/7block/jungle_research/new_cards/07/report07a.html

    Extreme science. Which is the biggest snake.1998.Retrived on 4/10/2008 from;

     http://www.extremescience.com/BiggestSnake.htm

     

    Description and Types of Snakes Anaconda. (2016, Jun 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/snakes-anaconda/

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