New Largest Ever Amazon Anaconda Species Discovered

by | Mar 1, 2024 | Environment, Wildlife

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Researchers in the Amazon rainforest have made a groundbreaking discovery, revealing what is now known as the world’s largest Amazon Anaconda species — an immense green anaconda residing deep within Ecuador’s lush rainforest. This colossal serpent, measuring an astonishing 6.1 meters in length, was found to belong to a distinct species, Eunectes Akiyama, differing from its closest relatives by approximately 10 million years, as revealed in the scientific journal Diversity.

The significance of this discovery extends far beyond the realm of herpetology, serving as a crucial indicator for assessing the ecological health of the Amazon region. University of Queensland biology professor Bryan Fry emphasized the pivotal role of anacondas as sentinel species in gauging the environmental impact of rampant oil extraction activities in areas like Ecuador’s Yasuni.

Professor Fry, whose extensive research spans nearly two decades, underscores the surprising genetic divergence between the newly identified “northern green anaconda” and its counterpart, Eunectes Murinus. Despite an evolutionary split of 10 million years, these two species remain visually indistinguishable, a phenomenon that baffles scientists.

New Largest Ever Amazon Anaconda Species Discovered

Insights into Genetic Variability and Health Risks

The genetic disparity between the green anaconda species, amounting to 5.5 per cent, astounds researchers, highlighting the remarkable diversity within this enigmatic reptilian genus. Professor Fry draws attention to the profound implications of this finding, likening it to the genetic disparity between humans and chimpanzees.

Furthermore, anacondas serve as barometers for assessing the impact of oil spills on both environmental and human health. Samples collected from anacondas in oil-affected regions of Ecuador revealed alarming levels of petrochemical contamination. Professor Fry warns of the potential health risks posed by consuming contaminated arapaima fish, which accumulate hazardous oil spill metals, particularly for pregnant women.

Briefly put the discovery of the Amazon Anaconda speciesnorthern green anaconda” not only enriches our understanding of Amazonian biodiversity but also underscores the urgent need for proactive measures to safeguard the delicate equilibrium of this invaluable ecosystem.

Also Read: Texas Wildfires Spread Across 850,000 Acres, Kills 1

 

Author

  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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