Facts about Titanoboa cerrejonensis, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur!

 
   
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Titanoboa cerrejonensis

   

Titanoboa cerrejonensis



Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Reptilia
  Order Squamata
  Suborder Serpentes
  Family Boidae
  Subfamily Boinae
  Genus Titanoboa
  Species Titanoboa cerrejonensis
Titanoboa cerrejonensis was a species of giant snake that lived during in the Paleocene epoch of the Paleogene period, between about 60 and 58 million years ago. Fossils of the snake have been found in coal mines in the Cerrejón region of Colombia - at the time that the snake was alive, this was a region of tropical rainforests.

The largest species of snakes currently known to science is Python reticulatus in which adults grow up to 32 feet (10 meters) long. Titanboa is estimated however to grown up to 43 feet (13 meters) long, had a diameter of over 3 feet (1 meter), and weighed more than 1 ton.

Titanoboa was non-venomous and is believed to be related to the modern family of Boas (which are today found in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia), including the Boa constrictor. Titanoboa would probably have been an ambush predator, laying in wait, and then suddenly springing into action when prey approached. Like its modern relatives, Titanoboa would have killed its prey using constriction (tightening itself around them until they suffocated) - however while its living relatives mostly eat small mammals, birds and reptiles, Titanoboa probably would have eaten crocodiles and large turtles.

Titanoboa was only discovered in 2009, by an expedition led by Jonathan Bloch and Carlos Jaramillo, and its discovery was announced to the world by a paper published in Nature in February 2009. The name "Titanoboa" means "Titan [i.e. large] boa", and "cerrejonensis" is of course derived from the region in which the snake was found.

Titanoboa cerrejonensis Timeline:



Titanoboa was a giant snake that lived between 60 and 58 million years ago

Titanoboa was a giant snake that lived between 60 and 58 million years ago


   
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