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New anaconda species discovered in Amazon during filming of Will Smith series

The discovery of the huge snake did not seem to bother the actor, who had no problem diving into the water to help capture it

Will Smith ayuda a descubrir la anaconda más grande del mundo | Shutterstock

February 26, 2024 9:12am

Updated: February 26, 2024 9:13am

A group of scientists discovered a new species of giant anaconda in the Amazon rainforest during the filming of a series starring Will Smith.

At first, experts pointed it out as a green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), but they realized that, although they have a certain physical resemblance, genetically they present "enormous" differences.

The reptile measures 7.5 meters and weighs about 250 kilograms, making it the largest and heaviest snake known so far.

The species was found during the filming of the Disney+ series Pole to Pole, by National Geographic, with Will Smith, who, according to the IFLScience site, had no problem getting into the water and helping capture anacondas. It also featured the participation of the Dutch biologist and presenter Freek Vonk.

Until now, four species of anacondas were known, the largest of which, the green anaconda, lives in Peru, Bolivia, French Guiana, and Brazil. Green anacondas live in rivers and wetlands and, although they are not poisonous, they are constrictors, meaning they kill their prey by coiling around them.

But what scientists baffled is that the new anaconda's DNA differs by 5.5% from the green anaconda, according to Vonk. To give you an idea, the genetic difference between humans and apes is less than 2%.

Experts documented several anacondas of the new species "on the lookout for their prey" while paddling canoes through the Amazon river system.

This new finding, according to the researchers, is essential for the conservation of anacondas since they are vital predators to maintain balance in their ecosystem.

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.