Giant anaconda shown by biologist is not a new species in the Amazon


Dutch biologist Freek Vonk published a video swimming alongside the huge snake in the Formoso River, in Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul. The video, however, generated enormous confusion in the scientific community, as alongside the post the specialist posted information about a new study of a change in the classification of anaconda species in the Amazon, which made many people think that Vonk's incident showed the snake mentioned in the research.

read more

In the images, it is possible to see the biologist wearing street clothes, a pair of diving goggles and with a camera in his hands. The video was recorded in the waters of the Formoso River, one of Bonito's main tributaries.

The dive took place in June 2023 and was accompanied by a Brazilian guide. Sighting of anacondas is possible at the site, as the transparency of the water is provided by the large amount of limestone sediments at the bottom of the river.

The biggest anaconda I've ever seen is shown in the video, it's a southern green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) in Brazil (in a river in Mato Grosso do Sul). Until now this was the only species of green anaconda we know of. HOW GIANT! Thick as a tire, with a head as big as my head. Its length is hard to estimate, but considering I'm 196cm tall – you can see this is really GIANT!

Freek Vonk, Dutch biologist in an Instagram post

The snake posted by Vonk is not the same as the one in the study, as noted by biologist Henrique Abrahão Charles. To the Digital Lookthe anaconda specialist stated that he knows the snake shown in the publication and that it is an animal from Mato Grosso do Sul. “It is from Bonito, not from the Amazon and is not 8 meters long, it is 5. And it is not the same of the article”, he explained.

According to the creator of digital content about biology, the research does not mention the size of the snake and the largest anaconda in the world is just over 5 meters long. Confusion surrounding the issue increased as Vonk's post was reposted on other websites that linked the snake he showed to the animal mentioned in the reclassification study.

Watch the video of the biologist swimming next to the anaconda below:

On the internet, Vonk shares countless interactions with wild animals from various countries. He is a professor at the Faculty of Science, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Free University of Amsterdam. Vonk is a wildlife expert and chief scout in the Netherlands.

Green anaconda (Image: Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock)

green anaconda

  • The anaconda shown in the video is Eunectes murinus, also known as the true anaconda or green anaconda.
  • Males of the species can reach an average of 3.5 meters in length, while adult females can reach 5 meters.
  • In cases considered rare, animals can reach larger sizes, up to 6 meters.
  • Large adult females can feed on medium-sized mammals.
  • Males prefer water birds.
  • Experts warn that, in the event of a sighting of an anaconda, the ideal is not to make sudden movements and remain still.

Study on reclassification of Anaconda in the Amazon

Professor Bryan Fry, from the University of Queensland, was leading the documentary's scientific team and conducting a study on the effects of oil drilling in the Amazon, in collaboration with the indigenous Waorani people, when he discovered the diversity in snake species.

The research noted significant dimorphism between male and female anacondas and discovered differences in the geographic distribution of the species, indicating distinct adaptations to different environmental conditions and threats such as heavy metal contamination;

The discovery has important implications for the conservation of the Amazon and for the Waorani people's fight against negative environmental impacts, such as oil drilling. It also highlights the importance of continuous research for the preservation of biodiversity.

Biologist Henrique stated that the study does not reveal the existence of a completely new species of anaconda, but rather reclassifies it. “It is not a new species but a taxonomic reclassification”. Henrique specializes in anacondas and creates digital content about biology.


Related Articles

Back to top button