Wouldn’t it be great to have a list with the awesome world’s largest and biggest snakes, divided by continents (and country)? Yes! see the most impressive (by size) dangerous snakes each continent has to offer!
We will talk about the continents with the largest snakes: 4 from South America and 5 from Africa, and just one from Europe.
If we take a look back in history, we will find out that the snakes are an important symbol for most of the civilizations. The greatest personalities believed that snakes are a powerful symbol of rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing. To maintain power, you’d need such beliefs, isn’t it?
But… have you ever considered how different are the snakes all over the world? How are they influenced by the climate, area, by nature itself? What makes them unique according to the parts they come from? Let’s have a look together on the list below and discover the largest snakes ever by the continent and country. Let’s get started!
Biggest snakes in South America
The continent discovered by the Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci has the greatest biodiversity in the world! No less than hundreds of different animal species, around 40,000 plant species and an incredible number of 2.5 million different species of insects! Here we add also the… ssssnakes!
1. Green Anaconda
Like it or not, snakes are impressive creatures! What else to say about the Giant Anaconda? With its scientific name, Eunectes murinus, the Green Anaconda is classified to be the world’s largest snake. The reptile is a member of the boa family, having the top position in terms of the size: can grow to more than 29 feet (8.8392 Meters), weigh more than 550 pounds (250 Kg) and its diameters measure more than 12 inches (30,48 cm).
His favorite place to live in is the amazing Amazon… he takes the swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams and makes himself comfortable until… some more food show up! His movements are quite heavy on the land as though his skin is not slippery enough, but when he goes into the water, oh – that must be heaven, right Ms. Anaconda?!
And since we talk about food, his ‘favorite’ menu is made of wild pigs, deer, birds, turtles, capybara, caimans, and even jaguars. Here comes the interesting way how Anaconda gets his meal: he is a nonvenomous constrictor, coiling his muscular bodies around captured prey and squeezing until the animal asphyxiates. Quite tough, huh?
Did you know that Anacondas live 10-12 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity? Hmmm… maybe because they like to be fancy…
Check out the video below to see how Green Anaconda serves his meal – this might be a bit frightening, so makes sure you actually want to see it!
2. BOA CONSTRICTOR
This one is my favorite! It’s the most distinctive reptile of all! They are very much influenced by the habitat and according to this, their bodies can be tan, green, red, or yellow, and display cryptic patterns of jagged lines, ovals, diamonds, and circles. How cool is that? As we can see in the picture… a Boa snake looks gorgeous!
If you want to see such beauty, Peru and Colombia are the hosts of this Magnifique reptile. According to breeder Erika Stockl of Boa-Constrictors.com, the largest individuals are females from these two countries. Their size can reach 13 feet ( approx. 4m) and they can weigh 60 pounds (27.21554kg).
The great news is that boas are nonvenomous constrictors. The bad news is that they have great power…They are excellent swimmers but they like very much to stay on dry land, living primarily in hollow logs and abandoned mammal burrows. They are kind of eat-everything-you-can reptiles, so they literally eat anything they can catch, including birds, monkeys, and wild pigs.
Because of their unicity Boas are… as we expected, very much hunted for their skin, which is used for selling in the exotic pet trade… but luckily some boa constrictors have protected status in their range.
Would you take a closer look?
3. The Pit Vipers
The Pit Viper has become popular among the snakes because of its incredible way of killing their prey. Despite its beautifulness, the Pit Viper are the most dangerous snakes in the world! Let’s find out why they got this title! What makes them to be ”the most”?
There is a huge family of Pit Vipers, which are part of Viperidae family. But not all of the Viperidae are pit vipers. Having such a big ”family”, the Pit Vipers can be found all over the world, including, of course, South America. Their incredible skills helped them to adapt and survive in a wide variety of habitats – from desert to jungle.
Do you know what makes Viperidae snakes special? All member species share a common characteristic: a deep pit, or fossa, in the loreal area between the eye and the nostril on either side of the head.
But what’s the size of the biggest snake Pit Viper? The South American Blushmaster or by its scientifc name Lachesis Muta Muta is the largest of all Pit Viper snakes. Can reach a lenght of 12 feet (3,5m). OK, so if we know the largest snake, how does the smallest snake looks like? It’s around 60cm! Just a tiny baby comparing with his brother. But the average size of pit vipers is 3 to 5 feet long (90-150 cm).
If you were wondering if Pit Viper is a venomous breed, the answer is YES. They can be fatal to humans, but let’s hope you won’t ever get so close to them.
BBC Earth has made a slow-motion video on Viper bite. Take a look!
Most of Colubrids are often called ”typical snake”; this is because they rarely surpass 6 feet in length (1.8288 m). Three colubrid snakes found in South America routinely grow larger than this: the cribo (Drymarchon corais), the false water cobra (Hydronastes gigas) and the giant bird snake (Pseustes sulphureus).
Colubrids are terrestrial creatures, powerful predators – rather than using venom or constriction to kill their prey, these terrestrial snakes kill their prey with jaw pressure or by holding the prey in their mouth and beating it on the substrate or nearby objects.
As though Colubrid is the most common snake, there are approximately 1,760 species of colubrids and they populate about two-thirds of the world’s snakes. Some of them are not so friendly – they have a venom that can induce paralysis.
Have a look at this little Colubrid snake:
Biggest snakes in Africa
1. African rock python
This giant can be found in sub-Saharan Africa and it’s a nonvenomous snake. It has the right place of being the largest snake in Africa and one of the six largest snake species around the world. Good place at the top, isn’t it?
Frankly, this giant is not a fancy type-of-snake: it can live in forests to deserts, although usually near sources of water. Usually it is very hungry and, surprisingly, he eats animals up to the size of antelope, occasionally even crocodiles! A real badass!
Would you like to receive such a guest? Watch the video below!
2. Black Mamba
The Black Mamba is one of a kind… because is an extremely venomous snake. Actually, it is the second-largest venomous snake after King Cobra. Its lenght can reach from 2 to 3 meters long. Hmm… if you find a black mamba on your way, don’t climb the trees because you can find another one right there! The species is both terrestrial and arboreal. It’s a diurnal snake and he likes a lot to prey on birds and small mammals.
If a Black Mamba bites you then you gave to get the antivenom in less than 10 minutes! Otherwise, the venom is fatal. But, you won’t let yourself being bitten, will you?! Let’s hope not…
What a pretty face, isn’t it? But don’t fool yourself! The Boomslang once cheated a world-known herpetologist Karl P. Schmidt, who was bitten on the thumb. Because nobody knew that the snake has a deadly-bite, Schimdt thought nothing it’s gonna happen. But- in just one day- he died of respiratory arrest and cerebral hemorrhage. This event quickly put the researchers to analyze the venom of Boomslang which had the result of being fatal.
The fatal-venomous snakes are equipped with large teeth at the back of their mouth. To inject their prey with venom, the snakes have to open their mouths at 170 degrees.
Here you have a video of a boomslang having his meal:
4. Egyptian Cobra
Or Naja Haje, it’s one of the largest cobra species from Africa. The average length of this the Egyptian Cobra is between 1 and 2 meters (3.3 and 6.6 ft) in length, with a maximum length of just under 3 meters (9.8 ft).
Its name is an epithet derived from Sanskrit ”naja” – ”naga” (cobra) and Arabic ”haje” – ”hayya” (snake). But the famous story from the Ancient Egypt made this snake be known also as Cleopatra’s asp. The legend says that Cleopatra committed suicided by being bitten by an Egyptian cobra due to its quick-acting venom.
Egyptian Cobra is extremely venomous and incredibly dangerous. In a single bite, these cobra snakes can inject anywhere from 175 to 300 mg/. Surprisingly, they can kill an adult elephant in 3 hours.
The Egyptian cobra feeds on eggs, chicks, lizards, birds, small mammals, toads and even on other snakes including other venomous species such as the puff adder.
Even though this snake is so dangerous, humans are the largest predator because of their skin. The exotic reptile leathers can reach 200$ for a large snakeskin.
Here you have a better look of the famous snake
5. Cape Cobra
Cape Cobra usually measures 6 feet long (2 meters). This species of snake likes to play with its colour: you can see it from near black to dark or light brown, beige or yellow. It’s considered to be one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa and together with Black Mamba it accounts for the majority of fatal snake bites in South Africa. Its venom is neurotoxic causing progressive weakness and may affect breathing within less than half an hour.
Look at this one-to-one fight!
LARGEST SNAKES IN EUROPE
1. Caspian whipsnake
Europe certainly doesn’t have the biggest species of snakes in the world, but will still talk about it’s biggest snake: the Caspian Whipsnake (Dolichophis Caspius or Coluber caspius) is Europe’s largest snake, mostly found in the Balkans and parts of Eastern Europe.
It usually grows around 140–160 cm (55–63 in) in length, but some of them reach 200 cm (79 in). The record-sized snake in this species was 250 cm (98 in). This snaked is not venomous and it likes to be active during the day.
Have a look at the biggest European snake below:
It can be your friend, too:
Written with love and coolness by Andreea Giredaru on February 3, 2020 in World's Biggest Things
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