Anaconda is the common name for the Eunectes snake. These snakes are the largest snake species in the world and there are currently only four species of anaconda left in the world. The green anaconda is the biggest of the four species.
These gigantic snakes are found in tropical South America and they are semi aquatic animals that live in both the water and on land.
These huge snakes are all carnivore animals and need the protein and fat found in other animals to survive. They might be large but their incredible speed and their camouflaged skins allow them to catch their prey with great ease.
Anacondas enjoy eating a variety of animal types such as the following;
Rodents are the most common food sources for anacondas because these animals, like anacondas, love to live in tropical regions with lots of vegetation and lots of water. Anacondas will hunt just about any type of rodent they can find. Bigger ones focus on larger rodent species such as rats, capybaras, guinea pigs, pacaranas, and many others.
Most anacondas only grow about 5 meters tall but some species can even grow 11 meters tall and can weigh up to 500 kg. These big animals often focus on larger prey such as deer, peccaries, pigs, and sheep. Anacondas also enjoy eating dogs and will hunt these domestic animals if they wander about alone. On rare occasions, anacondas might even hunt large predatory animals such as jaguars.
Anacondas are agile swimmers and spend lots of time in the water. Here, they will hunt and feed on any fish species they can find. To hunt fish, anacondas will wait in a camouflaged area until an unexpected fish swims by. It will then strike to catch and eat the fish.
Anacondas mostly eat aquatic birds that swim on the water hunting for fish. They will also climb up into trees to reach nests and feed on birds and chicks. These snakes will also consume eggs if they find any in nests.
Reptiles are also a good food source for these large snakes. They will eat all sorts of aquatic reptiles such as turtles, lizards, small crocodiles, and many others they might find in the water or even on land. They are able to consume turtles because of their huge size and the fact that their bodies can digest meat and regurgitate bones and shells of turtles.
Anacondas can also become cannibalistic. The females are more likely to show cannibalistic tendencies since they are much larger than males. They will consume male anacondas after mating but these snakes will occasionally eat each other even if it is not mating season.
Anacondas are opportunistic hunters and will eat anything they can find if food is scarce. They will even eat each other if they become very hungry. Sexual cannibalism is also very common amongst female anacondas.
Feeding a wild anaconda is not the best idea. These snakes can be very dangerous to people and especially children. In zoos, anacondas are offered dead rats and rabbits. Once they have been taught to eat these animals, they are happy to accept them even though these foods might be dead.
Anacondas will eat dead animals but they do prefer to live bait that they can catch all on their own.
In zoos, anacondas are usually offered a variety of food types. When they eat a variety of foods, their bodies absorb a greater variety of nutrients and minerals they need to stay healthy.
In the wild, anacondas usually linger about the water and riverbeds to find their prey. They enjoy eating all animals that might be arriving for a drink of water. They will hunt and catch rodents, reptiles, larger animals, and even fish.
Unlike most snake species, anacondas give birth to live snakes. They hatch from their eggs inside the mother and are born into the world and ready to move. Newly born anacondas are called hatchlings despite that they are born alive.
Baby anacondas have the same basic food needs as adult anacondas but they usually have their focus set on smaller foods such as mice and frogs instead of larger animals.
Since these animals love to live in the water, their favorite food is animals that come closer to the water for r drink. This includes basically any animal that is small enough to fit into their bellies such as anteaters, primates, pigs, pigs, and many other foods.
The bigger an anaconda is, the more food it consumes. These animals cannot chew or rip their food apart. They need to swallow their food whole and will then spend many days digesting these foods.
Young anacondas eat smaller foods such as mice or rabbits. Older anacondas may eat much more and are often offered rabbits or even pigs as feed.
Anacondas do need time to digest their foods. Young anacondas only eat every 7 – 10 days and use their fasting periods for digestion. When they become older, their feeding is reduced to once every 4 – 6 weeks but their feedings are usually quite large.
According to scientists, large anacondas can eat a human but no such case has ever been documented. It is believed that anacondas simply don’t enjoy eating human foods even though many of these snakes are perfectly capable of overwhelming a human. The giant python is more likely to catch and eat humans and is often mistaken for anacondas because of their unique appearance.
As an adult, anacondas do not have too many predators. They are simply too big to catch and carry away. Young anacondas can however be eaten by a variety of animals such as eagles, lions, tigers, pumas, and other snakes. Some humans eat anacondas.