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Anaconda vs. King Cobra: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 21, 2024
The anaconda is a large, non-venomous constrictor snake found in South America, while the king cobra is a highly venomous snake, primarily found in Asia.

Key Differences

Anacondas are predominantly found in the Amazon rainforest and swamps of South America, thriving in aquatic environments. King cobras, in contrast, are native to forests and plains of South and Southeast Asia.
Anacondas are among the largest snakes in the world, known for their massive girth and length, with some reaching over 5 meters. King cobras are the world's longest venomous snakes, reaching lengths up to 5.5 meters, but are much slimmer compared to anacondas.
Anacondas are constrictors, preying on large rodents, birds, and even small crocodiles, killing by constriction. King cobras primarily feed on other snakes, including venomous ones, and use their potent venom to immobilize their prey.
Anacondas are mostly aquatic and are known for their stealth and strength in water. King cobras are more terrestrial, known for their hood and intimidating posture when threatened.
Anacondas are non-venomous and rarely fatal to humans, they can be dangerous due to their size and strength. King cobras, with their lethal venom, are highly dangerous and respected in the regions they inhabit.

Comparison Chart


South American rainforests and swamps
Forests and plains of South and Southeast Asia


Extremely large, heavy-bodied
Long and slender, world's longest venomous snake

Hunting Method

Venomous bite


Large rodents, birds, small crocodiles
Other snakes, including venomous species

Danger to Humans

Non-venomous, but potentially dangerous
Highly venomous and dangerous

Anaconda and King Cobra Definitions


A large snake that kills by constriction.
The anaconda wrapped itself around its prey.

King Cobra

Native to South and Southeast Asia.
King cobras are revered in many Asian cultures.


Prefers watery environments for hunting.
The anaconda slid silently into the river.

King Cobra

Distinguished by a hood that expands when threatened.
The king cobra displayed its hood as a warning.


Lacks venom, relies on physical strength.
The anaconda doesn't use venom to subdue its prey.

King Cobra

The world's longest venomous snake.
The king cobra stretched out to an impressive length.


Known for its massive girth.
The sheer size of the anaconda was breathtaking.

King Cobra

Specializes in hunting other snakes.
The king cobra is known for preying on other serpents.


Found in the Amazon and South American swamps.
Anacondas are a common sight in the Amazon basin.

King Cobra

A highly venomous snake species.
The king cobra's venom can be fatal to humans.


Any of several nonvenomous, semiaquatic snakes of the genus Eunectes of tropical South America that kill by coiling around their prey, especially E. murinus, which can attain a length of up to 9 meters (29.5 feet).


Any of various large nonvenomous snakes of the genus Eunectes, found mainly in northern South America. 19


(in particular) The green anaconda; Eunectes murinus.


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.


Large arboreal boa of tropical South America


Are anacondas endangered?

Anacondas are not currently listed as endangered, but they face threats from habitat destruction and hunting.

Can anacondas swim?

Yes, anacondas are excellent swimmers and spend a lot of time in water.

Is the king cobra's venom deadly?

Yes, the venom of a king cobra can be fatal without prompt medical treatment.

How long can anacondas grow?

Anacondas can grow over 5 meters long, with females typically larger than males.

How does a king cobra behave when threatened?

When threatened, a king cobra will raise its head, extend its hood, and hiss, sometimes delivering a mock charge or a venomous bite.

What is the lifespan of a king cobra in the wild?

King cobras can live up to 20 years in the wild.

What type of habitat do anacondas prefer?

Anacondas prefer wet, swampy areas and are often found in or near water bodies like rivers and lakes.

Can anacondas be found in groups?

Anacondas are typically solitary, coming together only for mating purposes.

What do king cobras eat?

King cobras primarily feed on other snakes, including venomous ones.

How fast can a king cobra move?

King cobras are not the fastest snakes, but they can move quickly when attacking or escaping.

Can a king cobra's venom kill other snakes?

Yes, their venom is potent enough to kill other snakes, including venomous species.

Do anacondas lay eggs?

No, anacondas are ovoviviparous, meaning they give birth to live young.

What is the average size of a king cobra?

King cobras typically range from 3 to 4 meters, but can reach lengths up to 5.5 meters.

How often do anacondas eat?

Due to their slow metabolism, anacondas can go weeks or months between meals, depending on the size of their prey.

Is the king cobra aggressive towards humans?

King cobras usually avoid humans but can become aggressive if cornered or provoked.

Can king cobras be found in urban areas?

While uncommon, king cobras can sometimes wander into urban areas, especially if their habitat is disturbed.

Are anacondas dangerous to humans?

While not typically dangerous, anacondas can be a threat due to their size and strength, especially if provoked.

How does the king cobra's venom work?

The venom of a king cobra attacks the nervous system, causing paralysis, respiratory failure, and potentially death in its prey.

Do anacondas have any natural predators?

Large predators like jaguars and caimans can prey on young or smaller anacondas.

How do anacondas hunt their prey?

Anacondas use their powerful bodies to constrict and suffocate their prey.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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