When paleontologists at the beginning of the twentieth century found the remains of a huge snake in Egypt called… GigantophysThere were some doubts about its size. It reached several meters, of course – but how much? The length of Gigantopis was initially estimated at more than 10 metres, but it was later verified that the estimate was less than 10 metres. The Smithsonian Institute examined the vertebrae of this reptile that lived in North Africa about 40 million years ago. Analysis showed that they are larger than the vertebrae of the largest modern snakes – anacondas and pythons.
So Gigantopis was probably the largest snake that ever existed. Perhaps because with estimates ranging from 9.3 to 10.5 metres, there were doubts. Reticulated pythons and green anacondas are also estimated to be 10 meters long. It is estimated that the size of this constrictor is almost legendary. The size of the snakes is surrounded by legend. The record length of a reticulated python killed in 1912 on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi was 9 meters 76 cm.. Therefore, ten meters was not found.
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The green anaconda is said to be up to 11 meters long, but this may also be a myth. Let us remember that in 1944 in Venezuela, a group of hunters claimed that they had shot a monstrous anaconda. After measuring her body, it was found that her height was 11 meters and 43 centimetres. It was a record. So the hunters went to the camp to eat, and when they returned, the snake had disappeared. They confirmed that “he must have been startled and fled.” As a result, the prize for finding the world’s longest snake remains unclaimed. This is a reward for anyone who finds the first anaconda measuring 9 meters or more in length or provides convincing evidence For its existence.
50 thousand dollars are still in the bank, which suggests that such large snakes, reaching a length of 9 meters or more, simply do not exist today. Four, five, six meters is already a sign of the presence of a giant individual.
Before the question of who is the bigger snake can be decided – Gigantophys Or contemporary Anacondy I pytonyNews of the discovery broke in Colombia. Already in the 21st century, a snake was found there, the size of which amazed everyone and could only have happened in a movie. Like the movie “Anaconda” with Jennifer Lopez and Jon Voight in 1997. There, researchers are attacked in the Amazon by a monster several meters long.
It turns out that such a snake actually exists.
his name was Titanoboa, Because it is classified as a larger relative of these snakes – the boa. This is an ancient subfamily of the constrictor that was undoubtedly associated with the greater southern continent Gondwana. To this day, boas live in South and Central America, but one species is also unexpectedly found in Madagascar – also part of ancient Gondwana.
Even today’s largest boas do not even come close to the size of snakes and anacondas. The boa snake reaches a maximum length of 3-4 meters and hunts mainly rodents and birds. The Cuban boa is larger, reaching up to 4.5 meters in length. Therefore, boas are not included among the world’s giant boas.
However, their ancestor penetrated all snakes and all reptiles in the world. Found only in 2009 in the province of La Guajira on the Caribbean Sea (near the Venezuelan border), this giant surprised everyone. How did this huge animal remain undiscovered until now?
The snake hid in a coal mine in CerigonWhich scientists studied carefully, but they did not notice it for a long time. When it was found and extracted from coal in 2002, it was mistakenly classified as a crocodile, and may have been a massive ancestor of the caiman. Nothing could be further from the truth – it was a snake. It is a large constrictor, a great ancestor of the snake, and is estimated to be up to 15 meters long. Unthinkable.
15 meters longer than he measured Dinosaur From head to tail (the longest individual found was 13.2 meters). These are the sizes for which the animal is named Titanoboa It could rival the largest Mesozoic predators. This snake appeared after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Its remains date back to 60-55 million years ago, that is, several million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs. It was considered the largest reptile in the world.
Be careful with this though.
Were dinosaurs reptiles? Some people classify them this way, although it is safer to classify them as sauropsids and see them as a separate group of animals from reptiles. However, if we consider them reptiles, they are in this classification from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods Sauropod Unattainable in size on land, you also have to add sea giants e.g com. mozazaury whether IchthyosaursAnd some of them were huge. So it is safe to accept it Titanoboa The greatest snake of all time.
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With such sizes, it seems that we are dealing with a terrifying predator with unparalleled superiority. However, analysis of its skull and teeth shows that this was not the case. Titanobo He didn’t grab everyone who came in his way like the giant, bloodthirsty anaconda in the movie. He specialized in fishing. He may have been catching a huge fish similar to the arapaima that lived in American waters at that time. But it may also have eaten smaller fish.
How many meters were actually measured? Until we find a complete skeleton, we won’t know for sure. 15 meters is the boldest estimate, and using the proportions of anaconda’s skull and body to calculate Titanoboa’s size, we get more than 14 meters 30 cm.
These huge sizes gave the snake a great hunting advantage, because if it hunted in water, it could catch fish at such a distance and it is possible that this was the purpose of its size. However, it also turned out to be his undoing. According to paleontologists’ calculations, a cold-blooded animal (including the sphincter) of this size would need a high ambient temperature to maintain its vital functions. At least 28-30°C all year round. This is difficult to achieve even in the Neotropics, in present-day Colombia, but in the Paleogene such conditions must have prevailed in South America. 55 million years ago, the climate cooled and the world’s largest snake became extinct.
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