A poker variant. Always played high-low, best with five to seven people. Seven cards are dealt to each player. There is a round of betting, then each player passes three cards to the person on her left (or right, depending on the whim of the dealer), then there is another round of betting. All players then discard two cards and place the remaining five cards down on the table in the order they would like to show them in. All players turn face up the top card of their hand, and then there is a round of betting, started by whoever has the high hand showing. Repeat this three more times. Then declare, and winners split the pot.

Anaconda usually has a fairly large pot, as there are two rounds of betting before you even see one of your opponents' cards. It's good fun though.

There are two species of anaconda, both of which are large constricting snakes found in South America. The green anaconda is much larger and more famous than its yellow relative

Green Anaconda:Eunectes murinus

The green anaconda is known as the biggest snake in the world. The reticulated python is often longer, but the green anaconda is much heavier. They may reach a length of about 10 metres, and there are unsubstantiated reports of specimens twice as long. The green anaconda is thickly set, and can weigh as much as several fully grown men. Anacondas are constrictors, and are not poisonous, but due to their large size they are dangerous to man. Green anacondas have a dark olive colouring, with black bands across the back. The eyes point upward to allow the anaconda to look up out of a body of water.

Another name for the green anaconda is the water boa. This is because it spends most of its time in the water. It favours stagnant or swampy areas, and can be found in much of tropical South America. Green anacondas usually wait by the water's edge for a prey animal to approach. After biting a target and holding on the green anaconda throws several loops of its heavily muscled body around its victim. As the victim exhales the anaconda contracts, preventing inhalation. After the prey has died of suffocation, the anaconda will begin to swallow it, almost always from the head down. The jaw of the green anoconda can dislocate to allow it to swallow large animals, such as wild pigs or humans whole. These snakes can live for several weeks of a large meal. The usual prey of such a snake includes all the large mammals that may be found in the tropical forests of South America.

Anacondas mate in the water. There may be competition between males for females, who are usually slightly larger. About six months after mating has taken place, the female gives birth to around 40 infants. These are already two feet long, and are capable of swimming and hunting for themselves almost immediately.

Due to nocturnal habits green anacondas are rarely seen, but should be feared, due to their vast power, and violent tempraments.

Kingdom: Anamalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae

Yellow Anaconda:Eunectes notaeus

Much less impressive than its cousin, the yellow anaconda reaches only about 2 metres in length. They are predominanlty yellow in colour, and their range is slightly to the south of that of the green anaconda. They are similar in most behavioural and physiological respects.

Columbia Pictures, 1997

You better believe that unsubstantiated claims of 20 to 30 meter snakes get substantiated in this movie. Seriously. And the evidence is credible in the same way that Cliffhanger is more or less a documentary about alpine excursions. But the icing on the cake is the movie within a movie. Yeah, the characters are in the Amazon filming the pursuit of a long forgotten tribe: the People of the Mist. But ethnography turns to horror when. . .

Right off the bat I'm thinking whoa! Slow down director Luis Llosa, how are you going to balance all of these elements? With balls to the wall action and a cast as ludicrous as Ludacris himself, that’s how, guy. Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Ice Cube and an early surf-style appearance by the then under appreciated Owen Wilson whose shenanigans (evil shenanigans?) get the krazy crew of a small boat in a. . . er. . . boatload of trouble. Sigh. I haven't even mentioned the snakes. Big ones, little ones, in crowds and going solo during the rainy season; all accompanied by various sorts of grimacing faces and the surly commentary of Voight's Paraguayan snake-hunter personality.

The jungle provides ample opportunities for J-Lo to get her shirt wet and Ice Cube to prove that having street smarts is all it takes to do a little adventuring in the undergrowth. The combination of CG animation and animatronics are not, in my opinion, as stated elsewhere "phony" or "ridiculous", but instead pointed and well-wrought studies of the dietary habits of a complex biological organism that, who knows?, may very well terrorize undiscovered sections of far-off watery places. "It will take your breath away", explains the box's tagline, in complete accordance with the anaconda's method of capture and kill, much the same as another scientifically accurate film about the scorpion (Tail Sting) proffers the fact that "No one can hear them sting." One hand claps for the research abilities of these writing teams.

An`a*con"da (#), n. [Of Ceylonese origin?] Zool.

A large South American snake of the Boa family (Eunectes murinus), which lives near rivers, and preys on birds and small mammals. The name is also applied to a similar large serpent (Python tigris) of Ceylon.


© Webster 1913.

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