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March 2004

Skirting the Issue

Showing off her slinky style, a woman in São Luís, in northeastern Brazil, poses with the skin of a green anaconda for members of a National Geographic aerial survey team. The story of their expedition, "Skypaths Through Latin America," in the January 1931 Geographic, featured a shot of the same snakeskin with the caption, "Anacondas big enough to swallow a calf infest the delta of the Amazon." The world's heaviest snakes, green anacondas weigh as much as 500 pounds (200 kilograms) and measure nearly 28 feet (8.5 meters) long. This one—maybe 200 pounds (90 kilograms) and 16 feet (5 meters) long when it could still slither—was a relative lightweight.
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Photograph by Jacob Gayer

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