- The Central African rock python is the largest snake in Africa, growing up to 20 feet long.
- In North America, the longest native snake is the Eastern indigo snake. This dark blue snake can be 9 feet long and is found in states in the southeast such as Florida and Mississippi.
- South America’s largest snake and the largest in the world is the anaconda, extending to past 29 feet and weighing 200-300 lbs.
Snakes are found on almost every continent across the Earth. These slithering reptiles are, without a doubt, some of the most resilient and evolutionary hardy creatures to ever live. Worldwide, there are over 3,000 species of snake that have been discovered, a testament to just how successful these animals are. While most members of the group aren’t all that large, there are a few standout examples that show us just how massive a reptile can grow. Let’s discover the largest snake found on each continent and learn a bit about them!
Largest Snake in Africa
Africa is the second largest continent in the world and is home to one of the largest snakes overall. The Central African rock python is a truly massive snake that lives in Central Africa. This snake is known to grow up to 20 feet long and is sometimes regarded as the longest snake in the world. Another species of African rock python, the southern rock python, is closely related to the Central African rock python, only it is a bit smaller. Although they can reach 20 feet at a maximum, they generally measure between 10-11 feet in length and weigh between 97 and 121 lbs.
The Central African rock python can be found in forests and near deserts but is almost always near a source of water. Common prey includes rodents, monkeys, warthogs, crocodiles, goats, and more. In some instances, it has been recorded eating impalas and adult hyenas.
Largest Snake in Australia
The largest snake in Australia is the Australian scrub python. These snakes are considered some of the largest in the world and are the longest and largest in Australia. The longest scrub pythons can measure over 12 feet long, although one record has a male growing to 28 feet. They generally weigh around 11 lbs, but the largest members have been recorded at around 60 lbs.
The Australian scrub python is an arboreal snake, meaning it spends most of its time in trees. With its large size, the scrub python may be one of the largest arboreal snakes globally. It can be found in Northern Australia, primarily in Queensland and the Cape York Peninsula. It can also be found on a few small islands in the region. Common prey includes small mammals, birds, wallabies, and domestic poultry.
Largest Snake in Asia
Asia is the largest continent in the world and home to one of the largest snakes in the world. The reticulated python is a beautiful creature that gets its name from the intricate patterns spread across their backs that often result in its being poached. Reticulated pythons are one of the contenders for the longest snakes in the world, with a maximum length of over 25 feet. Additionally, they are one of the three heaviest snakes in the world, with some individuals clearing 165 lbs. On average, these snakes measure between 4 and 21.5 feet.
The reticulated python is native to South and Southeast Asia and can be split into three subspecies. They generally live in rainforests, woodlands, and grasslands, but are almost always near streams and lakes. Common prey of the reticulated python includes small mammals and rodents, while large snakes can feed on Indian civets, pigs, and even deer.
Largest Snake in Europe
Europe isn’t generally known for its snakes and doesn’t have any native pythons or boas, which are often regarded as the largest type of snake. The Caspian whipsnake is likely the largest snake in Europe. These snakes usually grow 4-5 feet long, although the longest to ever be recorded was over 8 feet. This snake is a relatively common species of whipsnake, a type of nonvenomous snake.
The Caspian whipsnake can be found across much of Eastern Europe, notably the Balkan Peninsula. They also live in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, and a few other surrounding countries. It usually prefers grassy regions with open landscapes and shrubbery.
Largest Snake in North America
There are two snakes up for the largest snake in North America, one introduced and one native. The largest snake that has been introduced into North America is likely the reticulated python, a snake from Asia that has already been covered. These snakes were likely released as pets into the Florida Everglades and have since reproduced and caused ecological harm. The largest snake native to North America is the eastern indigo snake. Eastern indigo snakes are beautiful, dark blue snakes that can grow quite long. The largest individuals grow to around 9 feet long.
Eastern indigo snakes can only be found in the southeastern United States, particularly in Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. They are nonvenomous and are known to feed on small snakes, mammals, turtles, and more.
Largest Snake in South America
The largest snake in South America also happens to be the largest snake in the world; the green anaconda. The green anaconda, also known as the giant anaconda, is a species of boa that is recognized as the world’s heaviest snake, and one of the longest. They regularly reach lengths exceeding 29 feet and can easily weigh between 200-300 lbs. Although they are quite large, these snakes are extremely exaggerated, especially in the media.
Green anacondas can be found across northern and central South America. They are tropical snakes and live in dense rainforests across the Amazon. Common prey includes fish, birds, mammals (deer, capybaras), and even caimans.
Although snakes are quite hardy creatures, there are no species that live on this frigid continent!
The Largest Snake in North America Is Not Native
The introduction of a species to a foreign environment can be dangerous in many ways. Look to the state of Florida in the United States for an example. The imported Burmese python found no predators in its new swampy home — and started hunting the former head of the food chain, the alligator. Scientists are pursuing methods for monitoring the deadly snake to contain an expansion of the species throughout the state.
What Is the Smallest Snake in the World?
Small enough to fit on a U.S. quarter, the tiny Barbados Thread snake was discovered in Barbados as recently as 2008. It was found under a rock and fed on termites and ant larvae. Adults only grow up to 4.9 inches long – so tiny that females only lay one egg at a time! Barbados Thread snakes have evolved to live in forests, which, unfortunately for this extremely small snake, have led to its current “critically endangered” status because of deforestation of its native habitat.
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