Biggest Snake Species Discovered in Amazon Rainforest

A groundbreaking discovery has rocked the scientific community as researchers unveil the existence of the largest snake species ever recorded in the Amazon rainforest. According to a report by Fox News, the green anaconda, long hailed as one of the most formidable predators of the region, has been identified as not one, but two distinct species.

Initially believed to comprise a single species, scientists have now classified the green anaconda into two separate entities: the northern and southern green anacondas. This revelation comes after meticulous genetic analysis, with researchers identifying a significant 5.5% genetic difference between the two variants. To put this into perspective, the genetic distinction between humans and chimpanzees is a mere 2%.

The study, published in the journal MDPI Diversity, utilized genetic data sourced from green anacondas spanning nine countries across South America. Tissue and blood samples obtained from specimens in Brazil, Ecuador, and Venezuela played a crucial role in unraveling this biological mystery.

In an exclusive report by National Geographic, it was revealed that the differentiation between the two species extends beyond genetics. Physical examinations of the snakes, including scale counts and other morphological characteristics, provided further evidence of what researchers term “evolutionary divergence.”

Key to this separation is the geographic range of the two species. Bryan Fry, a biologist at the University of Queensland and an explorer for National Geographic, explained that while the southern green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) roams across the expansive southern Amazon basin, its newly identified counterpart, the northern green anaconda (Eunectes akayima), is confined to the smaller northern Orinoco basin.

Fry elaborated, stating, “The southern green anaconda, Eunectes murinus, is found across a vast range spanning Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and parts of French Guiana; by contrast, our newly described northern green anaconda, Eunectes akayima, is restricted to Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad, Venezuela, and parts of French Guiana.”

This groundbreaking discovery not only deepens our understanding of the intricate biodiversity within the Amazon rainforest but also underscores the importance of continued exploration and research in one of the world’s most ecologically rich and diverse regions.

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