Remember the myth of the Chupacabra? The deadly monster that left a trail of bloodless goats in its wake? Well, there's a snake in Nigeria that seems to be even more horrifying than any supernatural or mythical creature you could imagine. And what it got for being this way - is perhaps something it did not deserve.
They thought the giant snake ate a calf.
This is a snake that was hungry, and killed to fill itself. But guess what? The snake wasn't just killing to sate its own hunger. It wasn't even killing just for sport.
No, it was eating for a hundred.
That's right, eating for a hundred of its own unborn children. Pregnant animals will often do anything at all for their young, but this snake went too far in trying to feed her yet to be born brood. In her effort to sustain her young, she went ahead and terrorized an entire farming community.
When animals went missing, this farming community started to panic.
Something was clearly attacking the animals. And it had to be stopped at all costs. So when the farmers finally saw a massively swollen snake, they realized right away that this had been the beast that had been killing their animals. A baby cow had just vanished, making it all the more obvious that the snake was the culprit at hand.
They split open her stomach.
The famers were obviously protective of their livestock. After all, this was the main source of their sustenance. The more animals they lost, the more money was being drained away. So of course, when they found the snake, they knew immediately what they had to do. Without further ado, they split open the stomach of the snake, expecting to find the half digested carcass of the baby calf. They couldn't have predicted what they were actually going to see.
What they found disgusted and horrified them
Around a hundred eggs had swollen this snake's belly to gargantuan proportions. The massive beast had seemed large not because it had a baby calf inside it, but because its body was playing host to an unbelievable number of bellies. The farming community had never ever seen something like this. They were shaken to the core.
The story does have a happy ending
Once they got over their initial shock, the farmers who had found the eggs probably gave a few whoops of joy. You see, snake eggs are regarded as a delicacy in Nigeria, and these farmers had just received their ticket to a most excellent meal!
The locals believe the giant snake had been an anaconda
An anaconda that was a long way from home indeed. Anacondas are indigenous to South America, so it's surprising that one was found all the way in Nigeria. What an exciting life this snake had lived until her death.
Check out this picture of a snake with eggs inside
This is what the farmers found when they split open that snake. Neatly arranged rows of eggs upon eggs upon eggs. The mind boggles at trying to figure out how so many objects could fit inside one animal. Nature definitely is full of strange surprises.
Anaconda females do tend to be bigger and better than their male counterparts
Perhaps it is not so surprising that a female anaconda found its way into Nigeria rather than a male. On average, anaconda females tend to be 4.8m in length, three to four times bigger than the males. They're stronger too, so it's no wonder the farmers freaked out upon finding it.
Anacondas aren't poisonous
But they still pose a serious threat. Like pythons, anacondas kill their victims by coiling themselves around them until they constrict so much that the prey can't breathe. This type of snake can kill animals big and small and no one is safe, not rodent, nor monkeys, cattle, crocodiles or even humans.
Anacondas don't lay eggs
Unlike other snakes, anacondas don't lay eggs. Instead, they incubate them inside their own bodies, like mammals do, and then give live birth. If this snake had survived, she would have given birth to a hundred little wriggling babies all at once. Now that would have made for a scary sight! There are other snakes that give live birth too, like boas.
On average, anacondas give birth to around 20 to 40 babies.
The snake here really was a bit of an anomaly! It's incredible to think of an animal producing forty babies in one go, but this one was really something! There have been cases of anacondas giving birth to a hundred babies in the past, but the case remains mind-blowing.
The anaconda's diet depends on its size
Depending on its size, the anaconda will eat rodents, pigs, caiman, dogs, birds, jaguar, deer, and as this farming community found the hard way, cattle.
They ambush their prey
The poor victims didn't have much of a chance to get away. Anacondas ambush their prey with a quick strike, holding the prey with their 100 sharp and rear-facing teeth, while suffocating them by constricting it with their bodies. They're so strong that they'll generally crush their prey.
Then they swallow their prey whole
The gigantic snake will distend its jaw and swallow its dead prey whole. Its digestion is extremely slow, meaning it could survive without food for a whole year now.
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