New England Aquarium’s Anacondas Get Their Yearly Checkup

And it isn't too different from one you might receive.

Photo courtesy New England Aquarium/Matthew Sullivan

Wilson the anaconda. Photo courtesy New England Aquarium/Matthew Sullivan

Meet Wilson, the New England Aquarium’s 12-foot, 55-pound anaconda. She is the smallest of her friends.

Wilson and her tankmates Marrion and Kathleen from the Aquarium’s Amazon exhibit had their yearly physical exams this week. Veterinarians conducted a thorough checkup of the ophidian friends, with just a few differences from one us humans might receive.

Wilson's x-ray.

Wilson’s x-ray.

For example, the vets recorded the anacondas’ vital signs, drew their blood, and measured their weight and height—er, length. They also performed echocardiograms, ultrasounds, x-rays, and a cloacal wash—the equivalent of taking a stool sample.

While humans breathe between 12 and 20 times per minute due to their speedier metabolisms, reptiles like Wilson respirate just three times a minute. The resting pulse for an adult anaconda is 32 beats per minute, compared to 72 for people.

If any of the anacondas get a little uneasy with all the poking and prodding, the Aquarium says a little sedation “works wonders in anxious patients of whatever species!”