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Anacondas are large, non-venomous boas found in tropical South America. Although the name actually applies to a group of snakes, it is often used to refer only to one species in particular, the green anaconda, Eunectes murinus, which is one of the largest snakes in the world, and (together with the reticulated python of southeast Asia) arguably the longest. Specimens of up to around 30 feet have been caught or killed and examined.

They live mostly in water, such as the Amazon River. While the snake is dangerous to humans, and there are several ascertained cases of people being killed by it, it does not regularly hunt humans. Its standard prey includes fish, river fowl, and occasionally domesticated goats or ponies who venture near or into the water.

It is a familiar threat in comics, movies and adventure stories located in the Amazon jungle.

Anaconda may refer to:


The Merriam-Webster online dictionary states the word is probably a modification of the Sinhalese word henakandayā, which is used to refer to a small slender green whip snake found in Sri Lankamarker. However, certain other literature state henakandayā refers to a now extinct constrictor once found there. Richard Boyle (the Sri Lankan English consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary) writes in his book 'Sinbad In Serendib':


Further reading

  • Ray J. 1693. Synopsis methodica animalium quadrupedum et serpentini generis. Vulgarium natas characteristicas, rariorum descriptiones integras exhibens: cum historiis & observationibus anatomicis perquam curiosis. Præmittuntur nonnulla de animalium in genere, sensu, generatione, divisione, &c. - pp. [1-14], 1-336, [1-9]. Londini. (Smith & Walford).
  • Yule H, Burnell AC. 1886. Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical, and Discursive. London: J. Murray. pp. 133–134. (reprinted in 1903 by W. Crooke).

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