Apart from watching them in movies who could have imagined in their wildest dreams that in reality there could be snakes measuring forty to fifty feet long (12 to 15 metres). Even the pythons and anacondas haven’t exceeded this limit. But Cerrejon which is the largest mining operation in Columbia and among the largest open pit mines in the world remains a witness to this mind boggling and bewildering view. Fossils of 28 Titanoboa Cerrejonensis were discovered in this region.
Fifty eight to sixty million years ago which takes us back to the Palaeocene era , the period immediately following the end of the dinosaur age, Cerrejon was a marshy jungle and was home to these giant snakes. The structure of this giant creature’s vertebrae closely resembled the boa constrictor and its home was Cerrejon. Therefore scientists called it Titanoboa Cerrejonensis. Dr.Jonathan Bloch was a part of the team that discovered Titanoboa’s fossils. These histrionic creatures weighed approximately 1135 kgs and were more than 40 feet long. The thickest part of its body measured about 3 feet (1 metre) in diameter. It would be nearly as high as a man’s waist.The warm climate of the tropics in the past was a major reason for their wondrous weight and length. The temperature during those times averaged approximately 30-34 degrees Celsius which was comparatively warmer compared to the modern age.
1:1 Model of the prehistoric snake Titanoboa
Snakes being poikilotherms require warmer climates for powering their metabolism. It was only because of such warm climates that the cold blooded creatures were able to reach such magnificent sizes. Presently, larger ectothermic animals are found in the tropics and the smaller ones are found away from the equator.
The Smithsonian channel had even recreated this monster snake by creating a film that showcases the discovery of the giant creature that existed 60 million years ago. It was promoted by a life size statue displayed in Grand Central Station in New York City.