GREEN ANACONDA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     20th February 2024        

Context: The green anaconda has long been considered one of the Amazon’s most formidable and mysterious animals. New research upends scientific understanding of this magnificent creature, revealing it is actually two genetically different species.

Green Anaconda

  • Historical Recognition of Anaconda Species: Historically, four anaconda species have been recognized, including green anacondas, also known as giant anacondas.
  • Behemoths of the Reptile World: Green anacondas are true behemoths, with the largest females growing to over seven meters long and weighing more than 250 kilograms.

oAdapted to aquatic life, their nostrils and eyes are located on top of their head, allowing them to see and breathe while submerged. Their olive-colored bodies with large black spots help them blend into their surroundings.

  • Inhabiting South America’s Waterways: It inhabit the lush waterways of South America’s Amazon and Orinoco basins, known for their stealth, patience, and surprising agility.
  • Non-venomous Predators: Green anacondas are not venomous; they rely on their large, flexible jaws and strong bodies to take down prey before swallowing them whole.

Conservation Strategies and Importance

  • Maintaining Ecosystem Balance: As apex predators, green anacondas play a vital role in maintaining ecosystem balance by influencing the behavior of other species in their habitats.
  • Their presence alters the foraging, breeding, and migration patterns of various species, highlighting their ecological importance.
  • Sensitivity to Environmental Change: Green anacondas are highly sensitive to environmental changes; healthy anaconda populations indicate vibrant ecosystems with ample food resources and clean water.