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Old 02-04-2009, 06:10 PM
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Default Ancient Snake was as long as a bus!

This is nuts, they even have a photo of the snake's vertebra in comparison to a 17-foot anaconda and it dwarf's the anaconda's!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29014818

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Ancient snake was as long as a bus
Reptile slithered about South America's rainforests 60 million years ago



Jason Bourque
The extinct giant snake (shown in an artist's reconstruction) would have sent even Hollywood's anacondas slithering away.


By Jeanna Bryner
updated 1 hour, 1 minute ago

A colossal snake about the length of a school bus slithered about South America's rainforests some 60 million years ago, according to an analysis of the skeletal remains of what is now considered the largest snake ever identified.

"It's the biggest snake the world has ever known," said Jason Head, a paleontologist at the University of Toronto Mississauga and part of an international team who discovered and identified the snake bones.

He added, "The snake's body was so wide that if it were moving down the hall and decided to come into my office to eat me, it would literally have to squeeze through the door."

Fossils of the extinct snake species, now called Titanoboa cerrejonensis, were discovered in the Cerrejon Coal Mine in northern Colombia.

From the fossilized vertebrae, the researchers conservatively estimate the snake weighed about 2,500 pounds and measured nearly 43 feet nose to tail tip.


Ray Carson / Ray Carson/UF News Bureau
Top: series of vertebrae and ribs of 45 foot Titanoboa. Middle: series of vertebrae with one rib extending below. Bottom: two vertebrae (white), and a partial skull & mandible of modern 17 foot Anaconda, for scale.


The giant reptile was a boine snake, a type of non-venomous constrictor that includes anacondas and boas. In the same fossil rainforest, the researchers also found giant sea turtles and crocodile relatives.

In fact, while alive, the snake likely gorged on its crocodilian neighbors.

"We think it was a completely aquatic snake, that it didn't really go out on land except to bask every once in a while," Head told LiveScience.

"And aquatic snakes generally eat aquatic vertebrates, and the only other aquatic vertebrates around are these primitive crocodiles and these giant turtles. And you can imagine it's probably pretty difficult to eat a turtle when you can't chew."


Ray Carson / Ray Carson/UF News Bureau
Left: a vertebra (one bone of the spine) of a 17 foot modern Anaconda; Right: a vertebra of 45 foot Titanoboa.


The snake's enormous dimensions are a sign that temperatures along the equator where the remains were found were once much balmier.

"The bigger you get, the more energy you need overall," Head said. "And since they get their energy from external environments, the bigger they are, the more energy they're going to require from the external environment."

(Snakes are cold-blooded animals, so they don't generate their own body heat.)

The researchers calculated that in order to support the slithering giant, its tropical habitat would have needed a temperature of about 86 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit (30 to 34 degrees Celsius).

"Tropical ecosystems of South America were surprisingly different 60 million years ago," said Jonathan Bloch, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, who worked with Head on the snake study.

"It was a rainforest, like today, but it was even hotter and the cold-blooded reptiles were all substantially larger. The result was, among other things, the largest snakes the world has ever seen ... and hopefully ever will."

The discovery is detailed in the Feb. 5 issue of the journal Nature.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:44 PM
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The climate has alot to do with it.

At that point in time the world was going through a natural Global Warming Phase, and indeed was far hotter then today, the sea level far higher, almost no polar ice caps at all.

All Earth was capable of supporting VERY large things, including dragonflies the size of Birds, and stuff like that. We're speeding up the natural process of bringing that kinda environment back right now
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:40 PM
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I was just doing some reading up on this and holy smokes that snake was HUGE. I was saw on the Discovery channel that a 17-20 foot constrictor was put almost a 100 lbs psi on their prey. Can you imagine a snake that's 43 feet and weights 1.5 tons?
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:43 PM
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Can someone please tell me how they know it is 60 million years old??
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVEMAN
Can someone please tell me how they know it is 60 million years old??
They can't, it's impossible to date anything that old, so they use the old standby... they guess.

Carbon dating, when compared against tree rings, is only reliable to 1000 years. All other dating methods are based on unprovable assumptions about the universe and only amount to educated guesses as well, based on Evolutionary theory.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Mamba
I was just doing some reading up on this and holy smokes that snake was HUGE. I was saw on the Discovery channel that a 17-20 foot constrictor was put almost a 100 lbs psi on their prey. Can you imagine a snake that's 43 feet and weights 1.5 tons?
Dont forget though, its prey would have been much larger due to the climate aswell.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVEMAN
Can someone please tell me how they know it is 60 million years old??
The true figure doesnt actually matter. Lets just say its Pre the last Ice Age.
These snakes would have been around for as long as the Earth was in its Heat Cycle.

It evidently not modern, Snakes couldnt grow that large today becase its not warm enough and there isnt enough food probably for it to support itself. But in the past when the Heat Cycle was at a peak, dont forget the prey would have been much larger aswell.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyburn
The true figure doesnt actually matter. Lets just say its Pre the last Ice Age.
These snakes would have been around for as long as the Earth was in its Heat Cycle.

It evidently not modern, Snakes couldnt grow that large today becase its not warm enough and there isnt enough food probably for it to support itself. But in the past when the Heat Cycle was at a peak, dont forget the prey would have been much larger aswell.
What if we don't believe there was ever an Ice Age? Didn't Al Gore just make that up to sell DVDs?

I would say that this snake is most likely pre-Flood.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:59 PM
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as a pest control tech i can say im glad these are no longer around
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason2130
as a pest control tech i can say im glad these are no longer around
As the highest member of the food chain, I can say I'm glad these are no longer around, lol
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