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That's Amaz-on! Anacondas arrive at Blue Planet.

THE Blue Planet Aquarium has welcomed its newest reptilian arrivals - a pair of yellow anacondas.

Yellow anacondas are constrictors and belong to the same family as the world's largest snakes including pythons and boas.

They can grow up to four metres in length and come from central South America, where they spend most of their time in or around water rather than on dry land.

The pair have gone on display in the aquarium's Amazon area alongside a variety of other extraordinary South American species including red bellied piranhas and giant pacu fish.

Herpetologist Tom Halton said: "They are settling in really well and we're hoping it won't be too long before we hear the slither of tiny tails.

"Yellow anacondas are amazing snakes and have the most wonderful markings and colouration. Despite their reputation they are actually surprisingly docile, however you do have to keep a close eye on them if you have to go into their display."

As ambush hunters, the yellow anaconda will generally lay in wait at the water's edge for unsuspecting prey to come along and drink.

The prey is quickly grabbed and constricted and suffocated, or pulled under water to drown. Anacondas may also actively hunt on land.

They eat small mammals, fish, reptiles, birds, and even small caiman - crushing their prey to death by constricting them in coils made by their own body.

Like other boas, female anacondas retain their eggs and then give birth to live young. Up to several dozen, 18 inch-long (45 cm) young may be born at any one time.

The yellow anaconda's close relative is the green anaconda which is reputed to be the world's largest snake species.

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Yellow anacondas at Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 13, 2015
Words:290
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