A recap of last year's Anaconda pregnancy

Anacondas Ashley and Kathleen have lived at the New England Aquarium since the summer of 2006. Before then, a third large anaconda, Orange, had already been living in the exhibit for many years. Due to their size, we initially thought that all of the snakes were female. It is very difficult to tell the sex of an anaconda.

The anacondas in a pile, up close and with Amazon biologist and researcher Scott Dowd
It turns out that Orange was, in fact, a male. Large constrictors rarely mate in captivity, so we were surprised when both Ashley and Kathleen were seen multiple times in a mating embrace, called a breeding ball, with Orange. By October of 2007, both of them were pregnant. Kathleen's ova proved to be unfertilized, but Ashley's was. On January 1, 2008 at about 4 a.m., Ashley gave birth to 14 squirming baby anacondas. Here's a video of the birth:

-Marion Britt, Freshwater Intern


1 comment: