‘Magnificent creatures’: New photos show largest anaconda ever recorded

A close-up of the newly discovered northern green anaconda, found in the Amazon's Orinoco basin. © Jesus Rivas

Agiant anaconda species captured recently in the Amazon of Ecuador by a team of scientists is the largest to ever be documented, USA TODAY previously reported, and now, there are images showing just how massive the snake really is.

The group of scientists from The University of Queensland, led by professor Bryan Fry, uncovered the nearly 10 million-year-old species with help from the Indigenous Huaorani people while filming Pole to Pole with Will Smith,” a National Geographic series that will stream on Disney+.

Fry, as well as other scientists who studied the new species, shot incredible photos of the newly discovered snake in action.

Here are some images of the northern green anaconda found in the Orinoco Basin of the Amazon.

The invitation by Huaorani Chief Penti Baihua to enter the Baihuaeri Huaorani Territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon was “one of only a handful granted since the tribe’s first contact in 1958,” Fry told USA TODAY.

A new snake species, the northern green anaconda, sits on a riverbank in the Amazon’s Orinoco basin.© Bryan Fry

“The size of these magnificent creatures was incredible,” Fry said in a news release earlier this month. “One female anaconda we encountered measured an astounding 6.3 meters (20.8 feet) long.”

The northern green anaconda is captured feasting on a deer.© Jesus Rivas

Fry’s team alongside the Huaorani people took canoes downriver in the Bameno region, where they found “several anacondas lurking in the shallows, lying in wait for prey,” Fry told USA TODAY.

A close-up on the head of a northern green anaconda, a new species discovered in the Amazon’s Orinoco basin.© Joptape Chavez

The group then captured several specimens of the species, which they named the northern green anaconda (Eunectes akayima).

A close-up of the scales on a northern green anaconda.© Bryan Fry

Fry mentioned that the key to understanding the discovery has to do with location. The Amazon has two separate basins. The larger basin in the south is home to the green anaconda from which the northern green anaconda comes. The smaller basin in the north is home to the newly discovered northern green anaconda.

The newly discovered northern green anaconda lurks in the waters on the Amazon’s Orinoco basin.© Jesus Rivas

The two species differ genetically by 5.5%, Fry shared. “It’s quite significant – to put it in perspective, humans differ from chimpanzees by only about 2%.”

A “breeding ball” made by a northern green anaconda is pictured in the Amazon’s Orinoco basin.© Jesus Rivas

Fry’s team hopes to keep an eye on the reproduction of the northern green anaconda to gain greater insight into the health of the ecosystem at large.

Though the findings made by Fry’s group are incredible, there are anecdotal reports from the Huaorani people of other anacondas in the area “measuring more than 7.5 meters long (24.6 feet) and weighing around 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds),” Fry shared.

An underwater close-up of the northern green anaconda, a new species discovered in the Amazon’s Orinoco basin.© Cristian Dimitrius

Details on the snakes found have been published in the journal MDPI Diversity.

Scientists hold the head of a northern green anaconda, a newly discovered snake species.© Jesus Rivas
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY