Navigation Links
World's largest snake discovered in fossilized rainforest
Date:2/4/2009

Sixty million years before Jennifer Lopez starred in the film "Anaconda," the world's biggest snake slithered around northern South America. Excavations in Colombia co-organized by Carlos Jaramillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and Jonathan Bloch, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History, unearthed fossil remains of a new snake species named Titanoboa cerrejonensis.

Surrounded by huge trucks extracting coal from Cerrejon, one of the world's largest open-pit mines, researchers discovered fossilized bones of super-sized snakes and their prey, crocodiles and turtles, in the Cerrejon Formation, along with fossilized plant material from the oldest known rainforest in the Americas, which flourished at the site 58-60 million years ago.

Jason Head, the lead author of the new species description in the journal Nature, is a research associate at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Head, with David Polly, associate professor of geosciences at Indiana University, used the ratio between vertebral size and the length of existing snakes to estimate that this boa-like snake must have reached 13 meters (42 feet) in length and weighed more than a ton. Titanoboa, as it is now called, is the largest snake ever known, and was the largest non-marine vertebrate from the epoch immediately following the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. "The discovery of Titanoboa challenges our understanding of past climates and environments, as well as the biological limitations on the evolution of giant snakes." said Head "This shows how much more information about the history of Earth there is to glean from a resource like the reptile fossil record."

Titanoboa's size indicates that it lived in an environment where the average yearly temperature was 30-34 degrees Celsius. This estimate coincides with paleoclimatic models predicting greenhouse conditions. "This temperature estimate is much hotter than modern temperatures in tropical rainforests anywhere in the world. The fossil floras that the Smithsonian has been collecting in Cerrejon for many years indicate that the area was a tropical rainforest. That means that tropical rainforests could exist at temperatures 3-4 degrees Celsius hotter than modern tropical rainforests experience," said Jaramillo.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
703-487-3770 x8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. The best both of worlds -- how to have sex and survive
2. Quantum weirdness, parallel worlds, dinosaur poop, and the ultimate fate of the universe...
3. Largest study to investigate risk factors of autism to begin enrolling families
4. Single-largest biodiversity survey says primary rainforest is irreplaceable
5. Worlds largest investor coalition seeks further disclosure on climate change and shareholder value
6. Worlds largest marine protected area created in Pacific Ocean
7. Largest ever study of genetics of common disease just got bigger
8. University of Minnesota to host worlds largest conference on evolution
9. Findings released from 1 of the largest percutaneous coronary intervention trials ever
10. Largest ever acoustics meeting is next month from June 30 to July 4, in Paris, France
11. Exploited fish make rapid comeback in worlds largest no-take marine reserve network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 According to a new market research ... Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and ... is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD ... 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and Mr. ... the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer said," ... and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move forward ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... MacArthur Sotheby’s ... Hawaii, is pleased to announce the first Delos Wellness Signature™ residence in Hawaii ... Realty is working together with listing agent Kelly Allen, R(S) of Carvill Sotheby’s ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... Chinese bio security firm, to bring its proprietary CANARY pathogen detection technology and ... relationship, the Chinese firm has purchased an undisclosed number of PathSensors’ Zephyr pathogen ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... The team at Cell Signaling ... which attendees will learn about the assembly and topological architecture of mammalian SWI/SNF ... of the development and validation of new high-quality recombinant monoclonal antibodies, participants will ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... will feature Federal Hybrids, Inc. in an upcoming episode, scheduled to broadcast fourth ... Farmer will explore Federal Hybrids, the independent, family-owned seed company. Educating audiences about ...
Breaking Biology Technology: