This video is called Titanoboa – The World’s Largest Snake.
45-foot Ancient Snake Devoured Giant Crocs
By LiveScience Staff
posted: 03 February 2010 10:50 am ET
The largest snake the world has ever known likely had a diet that included crocodile, or at least an ancient relative of [that] reptile.
Scientists have discovered a 60-million-year-old ancient crocodile fossil, which has been named a new species, in northern Columbia, South America. The site, one of the world’s largest open-pit coal mines, also yielded skeletons of the giant, boa constrictor-like Titanoboa, which measured up to 45 feet long (14 m).
“We’re starting to flesh out the fauna that we have from there,” said study author Alex Hastings, a graduate student at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Specimens used in the study show the new species, named Cerrejonisuchus improcerus, grew only 6 to 7 feet long (about 2 m), making it easy prey for Titanoboa.
Clearly this new fossil would have been part of the food-chain, both as predator and prey,” said Jonathan Bloch, a Florida Museum vertebrate paleontologist and associate curator. “Giant snakes today are known to eat crocodylians, and it is not much of a reach to say Cerrejonisuchus would have been a frequent meal for Titanoboa. Fossils of the two are often found side-by-side,” added Bloch, who was part of the fossil-hunting expeditions.
Indeed, anacondas have been documented consuming caimans — reptiles in the same family as crocodiles — in the Amazon.
The new croc species is the smallest member of Dyrosauridae, a family of now-extinct crocodyliforms. Dyrosaurids typically grew to about 18 feet and had long tweezer-like snouts for eating fish. By contrast, the newly discovered species had a much shorter snout, indicating a more generalized diet that likely included frogs, lizards, small snakes and possibly mammals.
“It seems that Cerrejonisuchus managed to tap into a feeding resource that wasn’t useful to other larger crocodyliforms”, Hastings said.
The study reveals an unexpected level of diversity among dyrosaurids, said Christopher A. Brochu, a paleontologist at the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the study.
Scientists previously believed dyrosaurids diversified in the Paleogene, the period of time following the mass extinction of dinosaurs. But this study reinforces the view that much of their diversity was in place before the mass extinction event, Brochu said. Somehow dyrosaurids survived the mass extinction intact while other marine reptile groups, such as mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, died out completely.
The study was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
See also here.
Thought to be a distant relative of the anaconda and boa constrictor, the snake – named Titanoboa – was not venomous. Instead, it crushed its prey with the constricting force of 400lbs per sq inch – the equivalent of lying under the weight of one and a half times the Brooklyn Bridge: here.
The reticulated python is (barely) the world’s longest snake, but the green anaconda is almost 2x as heavy: here.
New snake identification guide can help Florida residents enjoy the outdoors: here.
Discarded Burmese pythons hunt Florida mammals to brink of extinction: here.
May 2013. A Miami man has caught and killed the longest Burmese python ever captured in Florida, measuring 18 feet, 8 inches. The python was a 128-pound female that was not carrying eggs, according to University of Florida scientists who examined the snake. The previous record length for a Burmese python captured in the wild in Florida was 17 feet, 7 inches: here.
A new genetic analysis of invasive pythons captured across South Florida finds the big constrictors are closely related to one another. In fact, most of them are genetically related as first or second cousins, according to a new study: here.
Smooth green snakes in the USA: here.
Devon project boosts rare smooth snake: here.
- Longest Burmese Python Captured in Florida (scienceworldreport.com)
- Man kills biggest Burmese python ever in Florida (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Record Burmese python caught in Florida (guardian.co.uk)
- 14 closely related crocodiles existed around 5 million years ago (scienceblog.com)
- Microraptor dinosaurs ate fish (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Crocopocalypse exposed in public for the first time! (blogs.scientificamerican.com)
- Titanoboa (reptile101.wordpress.com)
- Bizarre dinosaur ancestors followed mass extinction (science.nbcnews.com)
- Fossil Record: Dinosaur Family Line Traced to Limited Area in Africa (latinospost.com)