Wildlife photographer Luciano Candisani has captured an unlikely scenery in Brazil...
A female green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) as thick as a "truck tire" was spotted half-out of water, entagled with a much smaller male on the river bottom. Candisani first thought it was part of their breeding behaviour, but when he went underwater to photograph them from close range, he was stunned: the female anaconda had strangeled the male.
Venezuelan anaconda expert Jesus Rivas claims this is the first-ever photograph of a female anaconda cannibalizing a male of her own race. Rivas has a knowledge of only 4 similar cases over 30 years of experience, and this may be the first ever to be published with a photo.
According to Jesus Rivas, this cannibalistic behaviour does actually make sense, as female anacondas often loose one-third of their weight during their gravidity. By eating the male anaconda, the female can gain an extra 8-12 kg of prey, which obviously represents a great value of nutrition for her at this stage.
Michelle Z. Donahue
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