Called sucuris in Brazil, the green anaconda is a gigantic semi-aquatic snake that is found both in water and on land. It thrives in the swamps and slow moving rivers of the southern Pantanal in Brazil, 40 kilometres from the town of Bonito. The Pantanal is one of the largest freshwater marshes or wetlands on Earth.
Anacondas are members of the boa family, and are non-poisonous snakes found only in Central and South America. They use their enormous girth to crush their prey, which they then swallow whole. They have incredible muscle mass and are the world’s heaviest snakes, and among the longest.
In order to see and photograph these unusual and amazing giant snakes photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee scoured the slow-moving waterways of the Pantanal on a boat, and then scuba dived for 20-30 minutes each time he spotted a snake.
Anacondas are hard to spot because of their excellent camouflage. Green anacondas can grow upto 30 feet in length. During this expedition, the anacondas spotted were a maximum of 15 feet long.
Despite all the frightening stories surrounding this snake the anaconda is not a perpetually hungry predator. In fact once it has eaten a sizable animal it does not eat for weeks, or even months. Once its prey has been swallowed it is broken down and consumed, a slow process that takes a very long time. During this time of digestion anacondas become relatively immobile and can be quite vulnerable. Though their reputation precedes them, they are not as scary as portrayed, and may in fact be quite wary of humans.