Thursday, February 25, 2010

Python vs, Anaconda

Not literally of course, this isn't some B-movie from the 50's nor do we offer the sort of nonsensical wildlife coverage favoured by the Discovery Channel. Rather I thought it might be instructive to compare and contrast the heads of the two big constrictors I found last year since I had shots of them in similar poses.

Green Anaconda:
anaconda11

"Floridian" Burmese Python:
python2

Looking at the two you can clearly see that the Anaconda is a water snake. The dead giveaways are the positioning of the eyes and nostrils at the top of the head (unlike the burm) and the upturned snub nosed look. You can also see how much thicker the anaconda is at the "neck" - its head just seems to keep going, whereas the python has a distinct head after which the body gets more slender. You can also see the longer more dogfaced look to the head of the python - I suspect this is an adaption to taking prey such as bats and birds (where the 'conda will be taking aquatic species). There are similarities too though; although the patterns on the skins look very different both share a disruptive stripe breaking up the outline of the eye.