Biggest Snakes in the World

Almost every one of us is instinctively afraid of snakes, but these aren't just big snakes, Anacondas and Pythons are the the biggest snakes in the world. Depicted in Christianity as the devil itself, and in recent times by Hollywood as an 100-150 ft monster capable of eating a human, snakes don't have an easy life in our world.

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Scientific Classification


Scientific name: Python reticulatus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Pythonidae

Genus: Python

Species: P. reticulatus

The Python in the movies

Reticulated Python, the longest snake in the world.

This snake is considered the species that reaches greater length, There have been numerous reports of snakes reaching almost 9 meters, however on average they only reach about 5-6 metres in length as adults.

On their skin, they show a complex series of diamond shaped markings in various shades of brown, forming a reticulated pattern (network), whence comes the common name of this species. The color pattern may seem garish, but they almost disappear in the shadows of a jungle floor full of fallen leaves and other debris.

Pythons as do other snakes use smell to track their prey.They use their forked tongue to collect particles in the air. These particles are then passed to the Jacobson's organ, and are used to obtain information about the surrounding environment. The fork gives them directionality to the sense.

The reticulated pythons also have infrared sensors, small pits located between the "lip" scales, which contain heat-sensitive membranes. Using these pits the python can detect, even in total darkness, the location of their warm-blooded prey (homeothermic).

The reticulated python have 100 identical conical teeth curved backwards and no poison inoculation specialized teeth. They are capable of swallowing prey much larger than their normal mouth opening, because the bones of the jaws are united by very elastic ligaments and can move independently.

Distribution and Habitat:

These snakes are found in in the Indian subcontinent and in several islands of the archipelagos of Indonesia and the Philippines. They live in tropical rain forests, near rivers and lakes, and sometimes near human populations or cultivated land. Being an excellent swimmer, the python has been reported far out in the ocean and has been able to colonize many small islands within its range.

Habits:

These snakes have nocturnal habits and in daytime they take refuge in rocky crevices, hollow logs or tree holes in the ground. They move with ease in both aquatic and arboreal environments.

Pythons are ambush hunters, they will wait until the unfortunate prey wanders within strike range. The pythons are non-venomous snakes, so they kill their prey by constriction, holding it with their jaws and coiling their body around them, immobilizing and squeezing their prey until it dies by suffocation.

Diet:

Reticulated pythons feed on rodents, birds, reptiles and livestock, which they kill by constriction (tightening the prey until it dies by suffocation). When in the vicinity of human populations they are known to snatch chickens, stray cats and dogs on occasion. Apparently these snakes seem able to swallow prey up to a quarter of their own length, and up to their own weight. As python eat their prey whole, the entire animal is digested in the snake’s stomach except for fur or feathers.

Reproduction:

This is an oviparous species. The mating season runs from September to March and postures from December to May. In this species, both sexes have cloacal spurs, one on each side of the cloaca, which are used during mating (although in males these are usually more developed).

During the incubation period, which lasts from 55 to 90 days, depending on temperature, the female will not eat and only leave to bask to raise their body temperature. Most of the time she coils itself around the egg-clutch. The python will even use muscle contractions, almost like a shiver to increase the temperature of the eggs, despite being an ectothermic animal. The average clutch varies from 20 to 80 eggs.Hatchlings have a average length of 60 cm (2 feet). Sexual maturity in this snake is reached between the two and four years old.

Conservation status and major threats:

The reticulated python is not considered threatened globally (according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature). Is listed in Appendix II of CITES. The main threats are capture for the illegal trade of exotic species and hunting for the fur trade.

Source

Scientific classification


Scientific name: Eunectes murinus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Boidae

Subfamily: Boinae

Phylum: Boidae

Genus: Eunectes

Species: E. murinus

Green anaconda, the heaviest and largest snake in the world.


The green anaconda is generally considered the largest and heaviest snake in the world, although the reticulated python, is the serpent that rises to highest length. The green anaconda can reach up to 9 meter long, although it measures, on average, only 5 meters long and weigh up to 150 kg, females are usually larger than males.

Their skin is dark green with a pattern of black oval spots, the scales are small and with a smooth texture. Their eyes and nostrils are placed on top of the head, allowing them to follow their prey while keeping the body submerged in water.

Green anacondas as most of the big constrictor snakes can swallow prey much larger than their normal mouth opening. Since the bones of the jaws are united by very elastic ligaments and can move independently. They also have a forked tongue that, together with the Jacobson's organ, is used to obtain information about the olfactory environment.

Green Anaconda snakes also have heat-sensitive pits (small holes located between the "lip" scales), using these pits the snake can detect, even in total darkness, the location of their warm-blooded prey.

In this species, both male and female have cloacal spurs, one on each side of the cloaca, which are used during mating (although in males these are usually more developed). Green anacondas also have a cloacal gland that produces a toxic substance to help them get rid of the attacks of parasites such as leeches in that area.

Anaconda in the movies

Distribution and Habitat:

They are found east of the Andes in Colombia, Venezuela, the Guiana's, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and on the island of Trinidad, across the Amazon and Orinoco basin and Atlantic rain forest. They live in tropical rain forests and seasonally flooded pastures, always in close proximity to rivers and lakes.

Habits:

They are semi-aquatic animals and are excellent swimmers that can remain submerged for long periods of time, up to 10 minutes. During the day, they remain hidden among the vegetation or in a riverbed. They hunt at dusk and at night. These large non-poisonous snakes kill their prey by constriction, hold them with their jaws and wrap their body around them (see video), immobilizing them and squeezing them until they die by suffocation. Their digestive system has a very slow action. So, it can take days or even weeks to digest a meal and can go months before they need to feed again.

Diet:

The green anancondas feed on fish, small birds, mammals (including small capybaras and tapirs), caimans and crocodiles.

Reproduction:

It is an ovoviviparous species (the eggs are kept inside the female's body during embryonic development). Green anacondas are solitary animals until the time of the mating season as arrived.The ritual of mating and mating occur in water, usually from April to May. Males detect females able to mate by chemical signals (pheromones) emitted by them. Several males may wrap around the body of a large female, disputing among themselves the possibility of copulating. The offspring from 20 to 40 hatching on average, is born in water, after about six months of embryonic development. They reach sexual maturity at about three or four years old.

Conservation status and major threats:

This species is not threatened globally (according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature). Is included in Appendix II of CITES. Habitat destruction and persecution by the local population resulting from the myths that exist around these snakes (from very old roots in the culture of the peoples of Latin America) are the main factors to take into account the threat to their future survival.

Scientific classification


Scientific name: Python molurus bivittatus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Serpentes

Family: Pythonidae

Genus: Python

Species: P.molurus

SubSpecies: P.m. bivittatus

Burmese Python one of the world's biggest snake.


They can measure up to 6 meters long (20 ft), lying among the 6 biggest snakes in the world. However they measure on average 3,5 or 4 meters (12 ft). Males have a narrower girth and are shorter in length than females. Their skin shows a square pattern of spots, bordered with gold, which extend along the back, and exhibit iridescent scales. Albinism can affect some individuals and is a recessive trait which is manifested by the absence of melanin, the pigment that gives color to skin and eyes. The Burmese Python tail is prehensile and they are good climbers. As their bigger sisters (reticulated Python) they also can swallow prey much larger than their normal mouth opening.

Distribution and Habitat:

Their territory extends from Southern and Southeast Asia and includes Eastern India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Western Bhutan, Southeast Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Northern continental Malaysia, Southern China and in Indonesia on Java, Southern Sulawesi, Bali and Sumbawa.

It can be found in grasslands, marshes, swamps, rocky foothills, woodlands, river valleys, and jungles with open clearings. They are good climbers as juveniles but restrict their movements to the ground as they grow. As an excellent swimmer The Burmese Python needs a permanent source of water

There are 2 recognized subspecies:

Indian Python: Python molurus molurus (living in India and Sri Lanka)

Burmese Python: Python molurus bivittatus (inhabitant of Southeast Asia)

Habits:

They are solitary animals and most active at dusk or at night, spend most of the day in the sun or hiding in underground shelters. The pythons are non-venomous snakes, which kill their prey by constriction, hold them with their jaws and wrap your body around them, immobilizing them and squeezing them until they die by suffocation.

Diet:

They feed on amphibians, rodents, birds, reptiles and livestock.

Reproduction:

Burmese Python is an oviparous species. The mating season runs from November to February, with the postures in March or April. During the incubation period (which is 60 to 80 days in this species), the female does not feed and wraps itself around the eggs, getting through contractions and muscle strain, it can increase the temperature of the eggs, although being an ectothermic animal. Each egg-clutch is on average 12 to 36 eggs (which may, however, up to 100 eggs). These snakes reach sexual maturity at about two or three years old.

Conservation status and major threats:

The Burmese Python has the status of Lower Risk / Near Threatened (the International Union for Conservation of Nature). This is included in Appendix II of CITES. The main threat is hunting for the fur trade, and to a lesser extent for human consumption. The number of individuals in captivity is high, this being the most represented species within its genus (genus Python), under these conditions.

Even though these are truly amazing snakes their size doesn't compare to the massive Titanoboa a monstrous giant snake that slithered in the swampy jungles and forests of South America around 58 million years ago.

I hope you found this hub on the biggest snakes in the world interesting and helpful, if you enjoyed reading it you can vote it up, you can also share it with your friends.

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Comments 9 comments

Cutters profile image

Cutters 5 years ago from South Carolina

I used to have a green anaconda baby for a pet! It was beautiful. The state I lived in at the time allowed me to have it. I have a pic of her. Maybe I will hub about her one day. Good job on this hub btw!


shabir 5 years ago

thanks for posting it


flowerhead 4 years ago

thats very big that snake is one of the ugliest snakes ive ever saw hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe


Heather 4 years ago

When will there more crocodile snake movie out


Ava 4 years ago

Wow that big snake


nathan 4 years ago

cool


Akwarand Victor 4 years ago

i have ball python for adoption,she is so loving,do to my job i want a pet loving home.contact +23372081314


moreninha76 profile image

moreninha76 4 years ago from Portugal Author

I hope you find a good home for your ball python


mohit sahdev 3 years ago

what a good sight for finding thesnake

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