Dutch Biologist Swims with Giant 440lbs Northern Green Anaconda in Amazon Rainforest

Dutch Biologist Swims with Giant 440lbs Northern Green Anaconda in Amazon Rainforest

In a groundbreaking revelation, the Amazon Rainforest has become home to the world’s largest snake, the Northern Green Anaconda, as documented by TV wildlife presenter Professor Freek Vonk.

Measuring an astonishing 26 feet in length and weighing a whopping 440lbs, this colossal serpent, as thick as a car tire, was captured on incredible footage as Professor Vonk fearlessly swam beside it.

Distinct Species Identified: Northern Green Anaconda Recognized in New Study

A recent study, featured in Diversity this month, has officially identified the Northern Green Anaconda as a distinct species, separate from the previously recognized Giant Anaconda.

Professor Vonk, accompanied by 14 scientists from nine countries, confirmed the genetic difference of 5.5% between the two species.

The newly discovered species is scientifically named Eunectes akayima, symbolizing the Northern Green Anaconda.

Threats to the New Species: Climate Change and Deforestation Loom Large

Despite the exhilarating discovery, researchers express concerns over the newly identified species’ vulnerability.

The Amazon region, already grappling with climate change and deforestation, poses a significant threat to the survival of these iconic giant snakes.

Over a fifth of the Amazon has vanished, an area exceeding 30 times the size of the Netherlands, underscoring the urgent need to protect their natural habitat.

International Collaborative Effort: Unveiling the Genetic Differences

Lead author Professor Jesus Rivas, along with his wife Dr. Sarah Corey-Rivas, initiated the study over 15 years ago, driven by the realization that there might be more than one species of green anaconda.

The research involved collaboration with scientists from various countries, including Belgium, Australia, the Netherlands, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, the US, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

The findings emphasize the rich biodiversity of South America and the necessity for its conservation.

Implications for Conservation: A Humbling Discovery of True Diversity

The discovery of the Northern Green Anaconda prompts reflection on the broader biodiversity of South America.

Professor Rivas, with 32 years of experience studying anacondas, underscores the importance of acknowledging lesser-known species.

The findings raise questions about the existence of other unidentified species and highlight the imperative role of conservation efforts in preserving the intricate balance of the Amazon Rainforest’s ecosystem.