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World's largest snake, a 26-foot-long anaconda, discovered in Amazon rainforest

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In a groundbreaking discovery, scientists have identified the world's largest snake deep within the Amazon rainforest.

The colossal anaconda, measuring an astounding 26 feet in length and weighing 440 pounds, was uncovered by TV wildlife presenter Professor Freek Vonk during a National Geographic expedition.

This enormous snake, previously unknown to science, boasts a head equivalent in size to a human's and is now recognized as the largest and heaviest snake globally.

The revelation occurred during the filming of the National Geographic Disney+ series 'Pole to Pole' with Will Smith. Professor Vonk, bravely swimming alongside the massive anaconda, showcased his awe-inspiring discovery in a video shared on Instagram. In the caption, he described the snake as "the BIGGEST anaconda I've ever seen – as thick as a car tire, eight meters long, and over 200 kg heavy - with a head as big as my head. From total awe and admiration, a monster."

This newfound species has been scientifically designated as 'Eunectes akayima,' denoting the Northern Green Anaconda.

Contrary to previous beliefs that the Amazon housed only one species of Green Anaconda, namely the Giant Anaconda, the expedition team, led by Professor Vonk and consisting of 14 scientists from nine countries, determined that the northern green anaconda is an entirely distinct species.

The discovery, documented in the journal Diversity, revealed that the northern green anaconda diverged from its previously known southern counterpart approximately 10 million years ago, showcasing a substantial genetic difference of 5.5%.

Bryan Fry, the leader of the expedition and a biologist at the University of Queensland, emphasized the significance of this genetic disparity, stating, "Genetically, the differences are massive. They're five-and-a-half percent different, genetically. To put that into context, we're about two percent different from chimps."

This groundbreaking finding not only sheds light on the remarkable biodiversity within the Amazon but also holds paramount importance for the conservation of anacondas. As apex predators, anacondas play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance within their ecosystems.

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TAGS:Amazon RainforestAnacondaWorld's Largest Snake
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