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Largest Snake in the World

Shashank Nakate
It is difficult to determine which is the largest snake in the world. Anacondas and pythons are said to be the two candidates for it. This story provides some more details.
The anaconda and python reticulatus are the largest of all the snakes in the world. The zoological name of the anaconda is Eunectes murinus. This snake is known to have a length ranging from 20-25 feet. The green Anaconda is among the largest snakes in the world, with an average weight of 500 lbs (220 kg). Reports of new discoveries of longer snakes being found surface on the Internet every now and then.

Which is the Largest Snake in the World?

Growing up to 30 feet long, the reticulated python (Python reticulatus) of southeastern Asia and the East Indies is the longest snake in the world. These giants have an average weight of 250 pounds, but the largest known specimen in existence weighs in at a whopping 350 pounds.

Large Snakes of Earlier Times

The information given above presents some facts about living snakes. However, there are many reports of fossils of large snakes being found in the world. In the Cerrejon coal mine of northeastern Colombia, the fossil of a 13 meter (around 42 feet) snake was found.
The estimated weight of this snake is 1135 kg (i.e. around 2500 lbs). It can thus be termed as the biggest dead snake ever found. The zoological name of this snake is Titanoboa cerrejonensis.
Earlier, the Gigantophis garstini was known as the largest snake. The length of this snake varied from 36-38 feet. It was found in the region of North Africa some 40 million years ago.

Features of the Anaconda

Anacondas are the biggest snakes in the world. They belong to the boa family. Such is the strength and size of these snakes that animals as big as human beings can be swallowed whole by them. Their average lifespan ranges between 10-30 years.
These snakes are mainly found in the region of South and Central America. Rivers and marshy lakes are the places they prefer the most. Apart from the green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), other important species are the Yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus) and the Dark Spotted anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei).
An interesting feature about the word anaconda is its 'Sinhalese' (a Sri Lankan language) origin. The Sinhalese word henakandaya is said to be the original word.

Python Characteristics

Pythons are classified under the family Pythonidae. This family consists of 8 genera of pythons classified in 26 species, and which are found in different parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia. One of the characteristic features of these snakes is that they feed by using the ambush technique for catching their prey. A camouflaged position is preferred by the snake, which is also one of the most comfortable for preying.
Constriction: The technique of constriction is used by pythons for killing the prey. In this technique, the snake coils around the prey and tries to suffocate it. The breathing process of the prey is stopped and it dies eventually.
The python is considered to be the second-largest snake in the world and comes right after the Anaconda.