The Biggest Snake that Ever Lived
The anaconda is one big snake, as this capture picture shows:
Now, imagine an anaconda-like snake that’s 3 times longer, 3 or 4 times bigger in diameter, and 6 to 8 times as heavy!
No, this isn’t a fake monster from a bad Hollywood B-Movie!
It’s an actual creature that lived in Columbia some 60 million years ago.
As reported at the National Geographic News web site:
“Fossils found in northeastern Colombia’s Cerrejon coal mine indicate the reptile…was at least 42 feet (13 meters) long and weighed 2,500 pounds (1,135 kilograms).”
Titanoboa cerrejonesis was the longest, largest, heaviest snake that ever lived. We are talking about a creature that’s longer than a school bus and that weighed as much an Austin MiniCooper car!
Given the power of today’s largest snakes, Titanoboa cerrejonesis must have been a formidable predator able to take huge prey. The biggest modern snakes, reticulated pythons and green anacondas, are known to consume wild pigs, impala, gazelles, and even leopards and jaguars. No human and few animals living today would have survived the crushing attack of this gigantic constrictor.
I wanted to find some photo or illustration to give readers a better sense of the size of such a snake, but alas, there didn’t seem to be any available. However, I did find an old drawing of an enormous anaconda that adventurer named Percy Fawcett claimed to have killed during his 1906 expedition in Bolivia.
Scientists ridiculed Fawcett’s claim, but some cryptozoologists came to his defense. Myself, I think the story was either a fabrication, or the size of a very large snake was grossly overestimated. In any event, the sketch of the purported beast gives one an idea of how large the actual prehistoric snake would have been, so I offer it here for your entertainment:
Read more about this amazing fossil discovery of Titanoboa cerrejonesis at:
You can also watch a video here:
If you are interested in learning more about large constrictors, here are some links I thought were especially informative and interesting:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw286 (about the problem of Burmese Pythons introduced into South Florida’s ecosystem)
This video at Vimeo shows the installation of a beautiful 20 foot python at the Little Rock, Arkansas, Zoo. It really gives an idea of how massive and heavy these big snakes are:
At the other end of the scale, you also might want to take a look at this later post of mine—it not only highlights the smallest snake in the world, but the smallest lizard and frog too!