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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


LAMONICA, Rita de Cássia; ABRAHAO-CHARLES, Henrique; LOGUERCIO, Mariana Fiuza de Castro  and  ROCHA-BARBOSA, Osear. Growth, Shedding and Food Intake in Captive Eunectes murinus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Serpentes: Boidae). Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2007, vol.25, n.1, pp.103-108. ISSN 0717-9502.

The anaconda Eunectes murinus (Linnaeus, 1758) inhabits large hydrographic basins in tropical America and figures among the world's largest snakes, attaining a length of 12 m. This study analyzed the growth of three female anaconda siblings, with records from their birth in captivity up to around 14 months of age. The snakes were kept in a controlled environment with constant temperature and data related to biometry, feeding and skin shedding were recorded. At the end of these 445 days, the siblings had grown on average 2.6 times their initial length and increased their initial weight by 3830.lOg, incorporating about 43.5% of total food ingested to their body mass. They showed a total of 0.69 skin sheddings per month in that period, and did not exhibit significant differences in shedding intervals, nor in body growth (weight and length), when compared among themselves. Food was refused at times, coinciding with the days that preceded the ecdyses. Sheddings do not seem to be explained by feeding or growth, which suggests a relation to other endogenous factors. A more detailed study of this species is needed to better understand its growth to the adult phase and its hormonal levels during growth

Keywords : Anaconda; Biometry; litter; Ecdysis; Ontogeny.

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