OK, it’s not as big as this one (sighted at Mesa Del Sol, Albuquerque NM), but the idea of a giant snake 12.8 metres in length (that’s about 40 foot long) is fairly daunting. We’re used to them in films such as Anaconda… but for real?
Jonathan Bloch and his colleagues have found vertebrae from a gargantuan prehistoric snake in the rocks beneath a coal mine in Columbia. Bloch, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida in Gainesville, commented that the as yet unnamed creature would have been so big it “would have had trouble fitting though the door into your office.”
Estimating a snake’s length from fragmentary remains is difficult because most of the creature’s vertebrae differ only in their size, not in their proportions. Bloch and his colleagues can’t readily determine whether the segment that they unearthed came from the thickest portion of the snake, so their estimates of the snake’s size and weight are minimum values. The researchers contend that the ancient snake they discovered would have stretched at least 12.8 meters and weighed at least 1.27 metric tons.