How big do anacondas get in the Amazon?

Green anacondas (native to the Amazon rainforest of South America) are indeed the world’s heaviest snakes – weighing at around 249 kg (the equivalent of 548 lbs), and measured at around 6 meters long (the equivalent of 12 feet), they’re massive and powerful constrictors, equipped with stocky muscles that are way thicker than any other serpent worldwide. By the way, it’s important for me to emphasize on the following matter:

Since early explorations of the Amazon – particularly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries –, there have been numerous reports that contained alleged sightings of humongous giant anacondas, said to grow as long as 40 feet (the equivalent of 12 meters long)! For example: renowned British explorer Percy Fawcett, during his first expedition in the jungle in 1906, claimed to have seen and shot a 62 ft (18 m) long anaconda, a claim for which he was ridiculed by scientists; English naturalists Henry Walter Bates and Alfred Russel Wallace also implied to have witnessed anacondas beyond 30–40 ft (9–12 m) – not to mention that these tales accuse the snakes of being habitual man-eaters, with enough agility and strength to take on an adult human being…

It has later been established that said reports are exaggerated (nay hoaxes), as green anacondas – the females, to be precise – only grow to the maximum weight of 249 kg and the maximum length of 5–6 meters, without or rarely exceeding them. As such, numerous estimates and second-hand accounts are generally considered unreliable.

There is a theory that explains why some individual anacondas’ size tends to be far-fetched – and it’s something that happens when people meet up with other large animals that are actually not so gigantic as they appear, such as bears, crocodiles, giraffes, sharks, elephants, squids, whales, etc… –: since primates have spent tens of millions of years coexisting with large snakes, humans evolved to possess hyperactive snake-detecting circuits in the brain; as a result, a lot of people perceive certain serpents (like anacondas) as being much bigger than they actually are.

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