T Nation

Largest Snake Ever Discovered

Interestingly it wasn’t in my pants…

[i] (CNN) – Scientists in Colombia have unearthed the remains of a true pre-historic monster believed to be the biggest snake ever to have lived on Earth.

Named Titanoboa cerrejonensis, the snake would have weighed 1,140 kilograms (2,500 pounds) and measured 13 meters (42.7 feet) nose to tail tip – dwarfing the largest modern pythons and anacondas which can grow to 6 meters (19.5 feet).

Scientists believe it slithered around the planet between 58 and 60 million years ago.

Geologist David Polly, who identified the position of the fossil vertebrae which made a size estimate possible, said in a statement Wednesday: "At its greatest width, the snake would have come up to about your hips. The size is pretty amazing.

“But our team went a step further and asked, how warm would the Earth have to be to support a body of this size?”

Titanoboa’s fossilized remains were discovered at a coal mine in the tropical Cerrejon region of northern Colombia by an international team of scientists.

“Truly enormous snakes really spark people’s imagination, but reality has exceeded the fantasies of Hollywood,” paleontologist Jonathan Bloch, who co-led the expedition, told reporters.

“The snake that tried to eat Jennifer Lopez in the movie ‘Anaconda’ was not as big as the one we found.”

Based on the snake’s size, the team was able to calculate that the mean annual temperature in equatorial South America 60 million years ago would have been about 91 degrees Fahrenheit, about 10 degrees warmer than today, Bloch said.

“Tropical ecosystems of South America were surprisingly different 60 million years ago,” said Bloch. "It was a rainforest, like today, but it was even hotter and the cold-blooded reptiles were all substantially larger.

“The result was, among other things, the largest snakes the world has ever seen…and hopefully ever will.”

According to Nature.com, snakes are poikilotherms (cold-blooded) that, unlike humans, need heat from their environment to power their metabolism. Therefore research suggests that at the time the region would have had to be no less than 86 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit for the snake to have survived.

Most large snakes today live in the tropical regions of South America and south-east Asia, where the high temperatures allow them to grow to impressive sizes.

Meanwhile, Carlos Jaramillo – who was also part of the expedition – said the tropical rainforest at Cerrejon appeared to have thrived at these temperatures.

“This data challenges the view that tropical vegetation lives near its climatic optimum, and it has profound implications in understanding the effect of current global warming on tropical plants,” he said. [/i]

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/02/05/giant.snake.colombia/index.html

I mean seriously…it would would come up to the average person’s hip? You could hollow out the thing and live in it if any of them were still alive today…

.

That is awesome. Imagine a world with animals THAT much bigger? That’s sweet.

Good find…

Damn… awesome!

I like how they put that in perspective too - I had always thought the anaconda in… er, Anaconda was outlandishly large.

So what does this say about Global Warming?

Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?

Holy fuck thats awesome.

[quote]IronAbrams wrote:
Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?[/quote]

I’d guess it is the only sort of animal whose skeletal structure doesn’t support its weight, or at least supports so little of it that it can attain that sort of mass without collapsing.

Just my $0.02

[quote]IronAbrams wrote:
Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?[/quote]

At least they didn’t find spiders the size of sea turtles…

That’ll be the day…

Its tiny compared to its prey.

[quote]WxHerk wrote:
IronAbrams wrote:
Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?

I’d guess it is the only sort of animal whose skeletal structure doesn’t support its weight, or at least supports so little of it that it can attain that sort of mass without collapsing.

Just my $0.02

[/quote]

Unlike today’s modern snakes which achieve critical mass and then collapse in on themselves forming black holes.

[quote]Otep wrote:
So what does this say about Global Warming?[/quote]

That the earth goes through natural cycles of temperature fluctuation; however, this does not necessarily infer the global warming we are currently experiencing is a natural cycle and not induced by human activity So, basically it says nothing lol…

That’s way fucking cool about the snake, though.

It says that global warming is good for bodybuilding. It clearly states in the article that warmer temperatures allow for larger bodies.

Imagine that snake on a plane.

[quote]suruppak wrote:
It says that global warming is good for bodybuilding. It clearly states in the article that warmer temperatures allow for larger bodies. [/quote]

haha. ZING!

[quote]suruppak wrote:
It says that global warming is good for bodybuilding. It clearly states in the article that warmer temperatures allow for larger bodies. [/quote]

lol i read it and thought faster metabolism makes you bigger? huh?

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
IronAbrams wrote:
Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?

At least they didn’t find spiders the size of sea turtles…

That’ll be the day…[/quote]

Dude, they’ve found sea spiders bigger than that. I think the largest measured five feet across (including leg span.)

Fuck. That. Shit.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
IronAbrams wrote:
Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?

At least they didn’t find spiders the size of sea turtles…

That’ll be the day…[/quote]

Close enough…for government work

[quote]WxHerk wrote:
IronAbrams wrote:
Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?

I’d guess it is the only sort of animal whose skeletal structure doesn’t support its weight, or at least supports so little of it that it can attain that sort of mass without collapsing.

Just my $0.02

[/quote]

Clearly someone is too young to have watched Indiana Jones.

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
WxHerk wrote:
IronAbrams wrote:
Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?

I’d guess it is the only sort of animal whose skeletal structure doesn’t support its weight, or at least supports so little of it that it can attain that sort of mass without collapsing.

Just my $0.02

Unlike today’s modern snakes which achieve critical mass and then collapse in on themselves forming black holes. [/quote]

So that’s where black holes come from! Thanks! :wink: