(TMU) — This Italian underwater videographer obviously has a passion for water creatures. Not only is he a professional shark diver but Bartolomeo Bove also travels far and wide to film sharks in their natural habitat and shares the experience on his YouTube channel for the world to enjoy.
In July last of last year, Bove traveled to Brazil where he filmed and swam with the largest snake in the world—the legendary giant green anaconda.
The anaconda’s natural habitat is in the rivers and swamps of the rainforests and marshes of South America where the dense foliage and shallow water provide the perfect camouflage. Not exactly ideal conditions for Bove to swim and film in. Fortunately he found the perfect place—the Formoso River in Brazil—the only place with clear water where people can swim with the giant anaconda.
The trip was not in vain since Bove and Juca Ygarape, his diving partner, found a two foot long female weighing approximately 200 lbs (90kg). According to Bove, the massive boa moved with grace and was both playful and not particularly interested in them at the same time. However, she was interested in the camera which she inspected before swimming further into the river.
Bove said of the experience:
“The anaconda swims calm and peaceful, completely indifferent to our presence. Sometimes she comes closer, curious about my camera, licking the lens.”
“The behavior of the anaconda debunks the myth that it is an aggressive and violent creature that can endanger people’s lives,” he added.
The anaconda was obviously not too hungry at the time likely due to the fact that they prefer hunting at night. The green anaconda grows to such a large size thanks in part to its diet that often includes wildlife like birds, turtles, wild pigs, capybaras, caiman (alligator), and even the occasional jaguar.
Like all boas, anacondas are nonvenomous. However, they do sport a handy pair of sharp, curved fangs that are used to restrain their catch while wrapping their body around their prey to start the constricting process.
Bill Heyborne, a herpetologist and professor of biology at Southern Utah University, said:
‘’There are some common misconceptions about how that constricting works. One is that it crushes or breaks the bones of the prey. Another is that the snakes suffocate it, squeezing the prey’s lungs too tightly to work.’’
Even scientists believed this until a recent article on Live Science explained what happens to the prey during constriction.
“It turns out that the squeezing overwhelms the circulatory system,” explained Heyborne. “Blood cannot get to the brain, and the animal dies within seconds due to ischemia.” Drowning is also a common cause of death since the constriction usually happens in the water.