Giant Snakes


blog post photo

© David Hamlin/NGT&F

A “super snake” is a serpent of our nightmares. A massive, writhing cold-blooded tube of 10,000 muscles, capable of delivering 9,000 pounds of pressure, growing to lengths of over 30 feet and weighing over 300 pounds.

Giant snakes – such as the green anaconda or reticulated python – have a slow metabolism that burns 7-10 times less energy than humans. Because of this, super snakes can go over a year between meals. But when they attack, these powerful predators constrict their prey, possibly delivering over one ton of pressure to suffocate victims.

Patroling the swampy habitats of South America, the anaconda is the largest and heaviest snake out there. Their skin is covered with nerve endings – as sensitive as human fingertips – interpreting vibrations.

Anaconda’s have four rows of teeth on their upper jaws and can feed on prey weighing 100 pounds or more. They don’t pull their victims into their mouths – they open their mouths almost 180 degrees and lift up and over their meal. And during this death swallow, a unique set of 100 razor-sharp inner teeth bite into the prey, propelling their mouths forward.

The longest serpent in the world is Asia’s reticulated python. It’s a highly aggressive species with predator superpowers, like excellent nighttime vision, strong swimming skill and deep heat-sensing pits that help them track prey through forests and swamps.

Photos: Scientists Brad Moon and Maria Munoz capture an Anaconda for testing in Southern Venezuela.

blog post photo

© David Hamlin/NGT&F

blog post photo

© David Hamlin/NGT&F

Learn all about these massive serpent species and tune into Super Snake! on Friday, December 17th at 10 PM et/pt on Nat Geo WILD!