For those who missed this last month.(Feb 2009)A Giant snake that snacked on crocodiles and was longer than a London bus has been identified as the top predator to slither the land when the dinosaurs disappeared. It weighed 1.25 tonnes and with a length of 45 feet or more .The newly discovered giant snake, named Titanoboa in honour of its immense size, was for 10 million years the largest land predator on earth.
At least 28 individual specimens have been uncovered in Colombia and, with all of them being around 40 feet long, researchers said it is likely the species could have reached much further than 45 feet.
Remains of Titanoboa cerrejonensis were found in a layer of rock at the Cerrejon Coal Mine, one of the largest open-pit mines in the world. Alongside the enormous snakes fossils of turtles and giant crocodile-like dyrosaurs were also found.
Jonathan Bloch, of the University of Florida, was one of the researchers who analysed the remains of the snake, the biggest that ever lived. He said: “It was not only the biggest predator in the region, as far as we know, but it was the largest terrestrial vertebrate known on the face of the planet for at least 10 million years. “It could have eaten pretty much anything that came its way. If we had to guess, it probably ate a lot of fish and crocodyliforms. “It is possible that the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years opened up the opportunity for the evolution of another top-predator such as Titanoboa.” He added: “Truly enormous snakes really spark people's imagination, but reality has exceeded the fantasies of Hollywood. The snake that tried to eat Jennifer Lopez in the movie Anaconda is not as big as the one we found.”
The reticulated python, from South East Asia, is the longest living species recorded, according to Guinness World Records, with one individual reaching almost 33 feet long but the average length for the species is only 20 feet.
Be glad they are not around now. Or are they? Lots of stories about giant snakes have been reported over the years.
see more at:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article5662915.ece
A PS. just after I posted this the following was brought to my attention:
Rather fitting really.Poor Dog.