The Largest Snakes in the World
There are more than 2,900 known species of snakes in the world and all of them are carnivores. Some are venomous and kill with their bite. Some are large and use their bodies to suffocate their prey. Here is a list of some of the world’s largest snakes.
The most famous large snake is the Boa constrictor. Found mostly in the jungles of Central and South America, Boa constrictors have the most distinctive markings of any large snake. These markings act like camouflage enabling the Boa to change colors from green to red to yellow in order to blend in with its surroundings. Boas can grow to be up to 14 feet long and weigh as much as 100 pounds. These large snakes eat almost anything including birds, monkeys and wild pigs.
Pythons live mostly near the equator in Asia and Africa and are part of the same snake species as the Boa. Like Boas, Pythons are constrictors that wrap themselves around their prey and suffocate it. While many Pythons are excellent swimmers and spend lots of time in the water, these large snakes prefer to hide in caves or trees waiting for unsuspecting prey to come along. Pythons will eat small animals like rodents, birds and lizards or large mammals including monkeys and pigs. Pythons are able to unhinge their jaws to swallow their prey whole which enables them to suffocate and consume animals as large as antelopes. Swallowed whole in one bite! These particular snakes can grow very large with the Burmese Python capable of reaching 23 feet or more in length.
The Green Anaconda is the largest snake in the world! Stretching up to 30 feet and weighing as much as 550 pounds, these snakes can be 12 inches around in the middle. Green Anacondas live in tropical rain forests close to major rivers such as the Amazon or Orinoco in South America. Like their relatives the Boa and Python, Green Anacondas are constrictors that kill by squeezing, but not crushing, their prey until they can no longer breathe. Green Anacondas are able to grow to this size by eating large mammals including capybaras, pigs, deer and even jaguars.
When it comes to venomous large snakes, the winner in this category is the King Cobra. Male King Cobras can grow as long as 18 feet with some specimens known to have grown longer than 20 feet. These large snakes mainly live in southern Asia, northern Africa and the Philippines and will eat birds, frogs, lizards and chicks. The King Cobra has two very unique traits. First, it will eat other snakes. It is also the only snake in the world that builds a nest for its young.