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Scientists discover new anaconda species that’ll take the throne for the largest and heaviest snake in the world

The anaconda, a creature immortalized in various forms of media such as films and books, conjures up an image of a fearsome giant serpent slithering through the Amazon rainforest, instilling terror in the hearts of many. It’s difficult to envision any other snake usurping the anaconda’s position as the largest snake in the world. However, contrary to expectations, a recent discovery has unveiled a new contender for this prestigious title, marking the emergence of a different species within the anaconda family.

The green anaconda, renowned as the largest snake on Earth, inhabits the tropical regions of South America alongside three other known anaconda species. Yet, a team of scientists has made a groundbreaking revelation, suggesting that the green anaconda itself comprises two distinct species genetically. This discovery heralds the ascendancy of a new species to the throne of the largest and heaviest snake globally, capable of reaching lengths of up to 7.5 meters and weighing nearly 500 kilograms. This newfound species has been christened the northern green anaconda, scientifically designated as Eunectes akayima.

Published just last week in the scientific journal Diversity, the study detailing this discovery sheds light on the remarkable findings unearthed by the research team. According to The Independent, the scientists collaborated with indigenous Waorani individuals in the Ecuadorian Amazon to capture and study several specimens of the northern green anaconda.

Despite the invaluable assistance provided by the indigenous communities, the scientists encountered the formidable presence of these anacondas firsthand as they navigated the waters in canoes. Describing the encounter, the researchers noted how the anacondas lurked in the shallows, patiently awaiting their prey while the humans traversed the waterways.

This revelation not only expands our understanding of anaconda biodiversity but also underscores the importance of indigenous knowledge in scientific research endeavors, highlighting the invaluable contributions of local communities in uncovering the mysteries of the natural world.


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