Ancient fossil of 2,500 pound snake found

February 4, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Researchers have unveiled fossils of the world’s largest snake, a  42 to 45 foot-long relative of the boa constrictor. Paleontologists from the University of Toronto dubbed the species Titanoboa cerrejonensis for the Cerrejón region of northern Colombia where they found the remains of the behemoth that may have weighed more than 2,500 pounds. From Science News:

Analyzes of the rocks surrounding the Titanoboa fossils suggest that the behemoth lived on coastal plains in a wet tropical rainforest, the same type of environment frequented today by anacondas, paleontologist Jason Head of the University of Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, and his colleagues report.

However, the researchers speculate, the climate in which Titanoboa lived was much hotter than today’s. The maximum body size that a snake species can reach is related to the average annual temperature of the environment in which it lives.

The monster snake probably lived on ancient relatives of crocodiles in its rainforest home some 58 million to 60 million years ago.


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