Snakes: the 8 meter long Anacondas of the Mato Grosso

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie

Anaconda:

The Anaconda comes from the heaviest snake family in the world. The are very good swimmers and  formidable hunters. The species is mainly found in the rainforests in South America. Apart from humans, the adult Anaconda has no natural enemies. They feed on crocodiles and rats, fish and poultry in the water. On land an Anaconda easily feeds on a deer, but it is known that people have fallen prey to this monstrous snake.

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 The Anaconda is life-giving, meaning that the young are born alive. They are then 70 cm to 1 meter long. The gestation period for the Anacondas females is 6 to 9 months. They then raise an average of 30 youngsters, but depending on the size of the mother snake and its food reserves, throws of 60 or more young are no exception. The young snakes are immediately self-sufficient and immediately go hunting for food. They hunt on land and in the water. As the weight of the Anaconda increases, its hunting ground is more restricted to marshy or wetland areas. Up to a meter or 3 in length, they also hunt up trees, for monkeys or whatever is there.

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As their weight increases, they become more earth bound and only move across the ground and give preference to water-rich areas in the final phase. Their life expectancy is high due to a lack of natural enemies. Anacondas are known to be 20 to 29 years old in captivity. They strangle their prey. Their body is one big muscle and it wraps itself around the victim. With each exhalation of the victim, that enormous bundle of muscles squeezes itself slightly more, until suffocation occurs.

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The larger Anaconda will prefer to pull the prey into the water and drown it. Anacondas then work their prey inwards through antipersital muscle movements, which is painfully slow. The stomach acids digest the inward mass. The large Anacondas can weigh up to 150+ kilos. There are reports of Anacondas who were killed with a length of 15 meters. However, since the report came from only one source, it was not accepted. The largest recognized Anaconda was a specimen of 11 meters in length. Colonel Percy Fawcett of the British army shot an Anaconda of 18.7 meters in 1907, here again there were only  one source witnesses, his men, so this Anaconda was not accepted either.

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The photographer and diver Franco Banfi has captured an impressive series of photos of the Anaconda in its natural environment, the Mato grosso in Brazil. He has not met Anacondas larger than 9 meters and maybe he should be happy about that.

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The photo shows the Anaconda in its natural hunting ground, the water of the Amazon River, waiting for a prey to strike swiftly and mercilessly. Here the beast only holds its head slightly above the water.

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At one point, Banfi swam over a rolled up Anaconda that lay on the river bottom, which he immediately photographed, the estimated size was 8 meters.

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You just have to like photography. During his 10-day diving and photography expedition, he was able to capture a resting Ananconda who had just devoured a tapir and therefore showed no interest in him. He did not feel the need to measure the beast, but it goes without saying that it had considerable dimensions.

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The same thing happened when he saw an Anaconda fighting a jaguar, unfortunately his camera faltered and he did not want to leave the water to unlock the camera. On the same day he came across six Anacondas females. In the water!

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Banfi said he was frightened at first because everyone warned him of the danger of his endeavour, but he thinks the pictures he shot are more than worth the effort.

The area is primal and unspoiled and the only enemy that the Anaconda knows is mankind. The skin and flesh are worth a small fortune. Nice pictures, but I would not like to imitate Banfi's bravery.

San Daniel 2020

06/02/2020 20:06

Reacties (1) 

06/02/2020 23:16
No anaconda's around here...my biggest predators are wild foxes.
Lucky me!
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