Discovery of the World’s Largest Snake: A New Species Emerges in the Amazon

An expedition into the forests of the Amazon led to the discovery of a new species of snake. It would be the largest snake in the world with an impressive weight and size

South America, a continent renowned for its biodiversity, has once again confirmed its status as a treasure trove of natural wonders with the discovery of the world’s largest snake in the dense Amazonian forests. This groundbreaking discovery was made in the shallow waters of the Amazon river basins and has been detailed in a recent scientific study published in the journal Diversity, introducing a previously unknown species of reptile. Named the Northern Green Anaconda, Eunectes akayima, this species stands out as a distinct type of green anaconda.

The discovery emerged from extensive research involving a large team of scientists, including university professor Bryan Fry, who documented the scientific endeavor for National Geographic and the making of the documentary Pole to Pole With Will Smith. Researchers collected samples from South American Eunectes anacondas and conducted DNA sequencing, comparing their findings with samples provided by museums and zoos.

The team of experts has noted significant genetic differences between the Northern Green Anaconda and its southern relatives. “Our data show that two distinct lineages within the former E. murinus form deeply supported clades, allowing the separation of two species based on their genetic divergence, temporal divergence, and branch length in both Bayesian analysis and maximum likelihood trees: E. akayima sp. nov. and E. murinus,” the researchers stated.


The name chosen, meaning “great snake,” reflects both the animal’s size and the culture of indigenous peoples, whose stories mention a feathered snake that appears at the end of the rains, like a rainbow, to dry its feathers.

The encountered anacondas measured approx 21ft (6.4 meters), but according to the Waorani people, this gigantic northern reptile can weigh up to 1.100 lb (500 kg) and measure up approx to 24,7ft (7.5 meters). The distribution of this species is currently unknown, but habitat fragmentation and human conflict make this anaconda particularly vulnerable and exposed to significant challenges.

“The discovery of a new anaconda species is thrilling, but it’s crucial to underscore the urgent need for further research on these threatened species and ecosystems”

commented Professor Fry, highlighting the importance of continued investigation into this remarkable discovery.

Source: Diversity

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