Team Of International Scientists Discover World's Largest Anaconda In The Amazon

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Mahmoud Elmazaty | The Peninsula Online

Doha, Qatar: In a groundbreaking expedition into the Amazon rainforest's northern reaches, Dutch biologist and TV presenter Freek Vonk, alongside a team of 14 scientists from nine countries, has unveiled a colossal discovery: a new species of anaconda, Eunectes akayima, dubbed the "northern green anaconda."

This giant serpent, capable of reaching lengths of up to seven meters and weighing over 250 kilograms, represents the largest snake species identified worldwide. Vonk shared his excitement on social media, revealing that this newly identified anaconda species challenges previous understandings of green anacondas.

"A MASSIVE SNAKE! We've discovered that the largest snake species in the world," he said. Traditionally, the green anaconda, Eunectes murinus, was thought to be a singular species spanning South America.

However, the team's research indicates that the green anacondas found in the northern part of their range, including countries like Venezuela, Suriname, and French Guiana, are genetically distinct.

"The genetic difference between the two is 5.5%, and that is HUGE. To put this in perspective: humans and chimps are genetically different by only about 2% from each other," the Dutch biologist noted.

The discovery was made through comprehensive genetic analysis, comparing DNA samples from 78 wild and deceased snakes against existing anaconda DNA databases from nine countries.

This meticulous study underscores the critical need for conservation efforts, highlighting the Amazon's fragile state and the importance of safeguarding the habitat of these newly discovered anacondas.

Vonk's encounter with a southern green anaconda in Brazil's Mato Grosso do Sul, captured in a stunning video, showcases the sheer scale of these creatures.

"The biggest anaconda I've EVER seen is shown in this video; this is a Southern Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus) in Brazil (in a river in Mato Grosso do Sul) - so far, this was the only species of green anaconda we have known.

WHAT A GIANT! Thick as a tire and with a head as big as my head," he captioned. This remarkable discovery not only enriches the scientific community's understanding of biodiversity but also emphasizes the urgent need to protect the Amazon rainforest.

As Vonk poignantly notes, the excitement of uncovering new species is tempered by the environmental pressures threatening their survival. The identification of Eunectes akayima as a distinct species is a call to action for the global community to rally in defense of one of the planet's most vital ecosystems.


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