Humans and snakes have not always gotten along. Most humans fear snakes, a fear that is known as ophidiophobia, and many people would rather not interact with these reptiles. There are over 3000 known species of snakes, and they vary in length, weight and how deadly their venom is. Just how big can snakes get and which are the biggest snakes in the world?
Some of these giant snakes live deep in the forest areas, especially in swampy areas where they hunt their prey. They are rarely seen around human habitation areas, and most of the human conflict with some of the biggest snakes in the world is reported in the forest, especially those in swampy areas.
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Different people have various questions about snakes like, which is bigger python or anaconda? What do these snakes feed on? Below are some of the world’s largest snakes, some of the areas where they can be found as well as a description of their unique features.
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10. Papuan python
It is found mostly in Papua New Guinea and is among the longest snakes there. It can reach a length of about 14 feet and weigh up to 22 kg. Its skin has various tones of grey-brown or brown with its underside being a lighter colour. Its diet mainly comprises of small mammals.
9. Dark-spotted anaconda
Also known as Eunectes deschauenseei, the dark-spotted anaconda resides in swampy areas in the north-east region of South America. It can grow to almost 9 feet and weigh up to 30 kg. It is among the four known species of anacondas in the world.
8. Boa constrictor
They are giant non-venomous snakes that can grow to between 12 and18 feet in length and weigh up to 45 kg. They are found in tropical rainforests, desert lands of Central and South America and the savannah. They have beautiful skin with their bodies being tan, yellow, red, or green with dark lines.
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They feed by using their massive bodies to constrict their prey until they are dead and then consume them. They mostly feed on deer, monkeys, wild boars and birds. They are nocturnal hunters and use their heat-sensing pits to find prey. They are also capable of smelling prey by flicking their tongue. Boa constrictors are exceptional swimmers and can climb trees easily. This enables them to spend most of their time on trees.
7. Yellow anaconda
The yellow anaconda is among the largest anacondas in the world growing to a length of between 10 and 15 feet and weighing up to 60 kg. They are found in South America and live in swamps, marshes, and the rivers found there. It is a non-venomous snake and has very beautiful yellow skin which has black spots. It is a solitary snake and only gathers for mating. They hunt by ambushing their prey and suddenly attacking when their prey is in range. After catching the prey, they tightly coil around it and constrict it till it is dead. They mostly feed on deer, turtles, caimans, peccaries, and fish.
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6. Amethystine python
This python is among the biggest in the world, both in terms of its length and weight. These snakes measure up to 26 feet in length and 90 kg in weight. It is also known as scrub python and is found in tropical the rainforests and grasslands of Papua Guinea and Australia. It is a non-venomous snake and is nocturnal meaning it hunts only at night. It has heat-sensing pits on its jaw that help it detect its prey. They are ambush hunters; hence, wait for their prey to be within reach before making a sudden attack and killing it by constriction. It feeds mainly on small mammals, like bats and rats as well as birds.
5. Indian python
It is a large, non-venomous snake that is found in South Asia. It can reach a maximum length of up to 21 feet and weigh up to 91 kg. They are found in rainforests, woodlands, marshes, and scrublands. Their skin is yellow, brown or cream with dark markings which help them camouflage against different backgrounds in the surrounding. They can easily climb trees and are experts at swimming. They, however, spend most of their time on the ground. They are a solitary species and only come together during the mating season.
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They hunt at night and also have heat-sensing pits on their upper and lower jaws that help them detect their prey at night. They also have chemical receptors that enable them to spot their prey. Once they capture their prey, they kill it by squeezing. They mostly feed on rodents and other small mammals but also eat birds and small amphibians.
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4. African rock python
It is Africa’s biggest snake that can reach a maximum length of 25 feet and weigh up to 114 kg. This large snake lives in swamps, tropical forests and temperature grasslands of Western and Central Africa. It is a non-venomous snake. Its dark blotches and markings provide excellent camouflage in the different habitats they prefer to inhabit.
It kills by constriction and mainly preys on large rodents, monkeys, pigs, antelopes, monitor lizards, and even crocodiles. They can live up to a year after eating big prey like a crocodile or an antelope. They become dormant in the dry season in order to conserve energy for the harsh season. They are solitary creatures and only join with other snakes during mating. A female African python can lay up to 100 eggs during this period.
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3. Reticulated python
This is the longest living snake in the world reaching to 33 feet and is the largest of all species of pythons weighing up to 135 kg. It inhabits woodlands rainforests and small rivers across Southeast Asia and is a non-venomous snake found mostly on the ground. Their skin comes in different colours which include black, gold and olive green with some brown blotches. These patterns help it to remain undetected in various habitats. They are known to be solitary and very aggressive. They are nocturnal and mostly prey on rats, monkeys, deer, civet, and pigs. They kill their prey by squeezing them until they suffocate.
2. Burmese python
The Burmese python, being among the largest snakes in the world, can grow to a length of up to 18 feet and a weight of 137 kg. They are found in marshes, grasslands, swamps, woodlands, and the river valleys of Southeast Asia. It may have different colours including brown, grey, tan with reddish blotches and yellowish-brown.
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They have very poor eyesight although they compensate that with the chemical receptors as well as heat-sensing pits in their jaws that help them spot prey. They also possess back-curving teeth which aid in seizing the prey from escaping before they kill them by constriction. They have a hinged jaw that lets the python swallow the prey whole. They mostly feed on rabbits, rats, deer, pigs, and small birds. They can stay for months without food after having a big meal.
1. Green anaconda
The green anaconda, also known as Eunectes murinus is the largest snake in the world. They can grow up to 29 feet in length and weigh up to an astonishing 250 kg, twice the weight of the longest snake in the world. They are non-venomous and mostly found in swamps, rivers or marshes throughout South America. Female anacondas are much larger than males. They have attractive olive-green skin which has black blotches.
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They spend most of their life in water and are excellent swimmers and can swim at high speeds in water. Their eyes and nostrils are located on the top of their head to enable them to breathe when their body is almost completely submerged. It is a nocturnal snake and has heat-sensing pits that help them spot prey at night. It is an ambush predator and will wait until its prey comes near and then strike at an incredible speed. They then squeeze their prey until it dies then swallows the prey whole. Their diets include deer, crocodiles, tapir, fish, turtles, and caiman.
These giant creatures have some astonishing characteristics that make them stand out. They roam their habitats at the top of the food chain and possess the qualities that allow them to join the biggest snakes in the world list.
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Source: Tuko Breaking News
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