A yellow anaconda is a large type of boa constrictor, a snake that is indigenous to south America. It generally inhabits rivers, streams, swamps, and lakes. This type of snake can grow to more than 12 feet (3.6 m) in length. The yellow anaconda typically weighs about 40-50 pounds (18-22 kilograms). Unlike many other species of animals, the female anaconda is typically larger than the male.
A distinctive characteristic of the yellow anaconda is its bright and vibrant coloration. Integrated with the yellow coloration is a splattering of dark brown or blue. Another unique trait of the yellow anaconda is its ability to kill and devour its prey underwater. It's physiological characteristics enable the snake to hold back water that might otherwise choke it as it is swallowing its victim.
The yellow anaconda is a non-venomous type of snake. While its bite is not poisonous, it is a very powerful animal that uses constriction to kill its prey. By coiling, the snake renders the victim powerless. It then will squeeze its prey to death, then swallow its meal whole.
These snakes are aggressive by nature and are a potential threat to babies, small children, and pets. Because of its coiling ability, the snake can easily suffocate and choke a small child to death quickly. Fish, rodents, and birds are the most common prey of the anaconda, however, this snake will also eat small to mid-size mammals that come within reach.
It is not uncommon for a yellow anaconda to bring down a small deer. Often they will kill large wild cats such as cougars or mountain lions as well. The preferred hunting method however, is to capture underwater prey. These snakes are also scavengers that will devour dead animals when given the opportunity.
The yellow anaconda is generally a solitary hunter and is a nocturnal creature. Most of its hunting and general activity is done at night, and it is typically inactive in the daytime. This snake is a prolific breeder that often produces anywhere from 36-100 babies in one litter, typically underwater. The newborn offspring are generally about 18 inches (45.7 cm) in length.
Young anacondas will live off a diet of fish until they are mature enough to capture larger prey. The snakes can live approximately 18-20 years, depending upon habitat and other environmental conditions. This species is a relative of the largest known snake on earth, the green anaconda, which typically measures anywhere from 28-30 feet in length (8-9 m).