Location of Iquitos on Rio Marañón, with surrounding rivers. click to enlarge
We made several trips to film at wildlife related locations around Iquitos.
In Iquitos itself we visited the IRENA* offices to examine some of the skins, heads and stuffed Amazonian animals confiscated from markets and smugglers, including a large anaconda skin.
The skin was easily 6.0m long without the head attached but although some people might think skins shrink so the anaconda must have been much larger in life, the reverse is the case.
With large constrictors like boas, anacondas and pythons the connective tissue between the skin and the body is so strong that real force is required to remove it and application of this force cannot avoid stretching the skin. FI have conducted experiments with large dead pythons (that died of natural causes) on two occasions, measuring the dead snake, removing the skin as carefully as possible and then measured the skin. I found that on both occasions the skins were still stretched by 20-25% which means a 6.0m skin indicates a much smaller 4.5-4.8m anaconda.
* INRENA = Instituto Nacional de Recurosus Naturales - Peru's wildlife protection agency.
Boa constrictor and anaconda skins.
Caiman heads, stuffed boas and jaguar claws.
Skull of Black caiman, Melanosuchus niger, at INRENA
We also visited two locations on the Rio Momon, a tributary of the Rio Nanay, itself a tributary of the Rio Manañón, which is reached by river boat departing from Bella Vista.
At the Serpentario Javier Las Boas we filmed a captive Green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) and a Mata mata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus) as well as Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus), Schneider's smooth-fronted dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus trigonatus) and juvenile Yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis).