Monday, February 16, 2009

Giant frog gets new friend: Titanoboa

Well, the ancient giant "frog from hell" finally has some company! As reported by Nature, scientists have recently unearthed the world's biggest snake fossil. The snake, thought to have been about 42 feet long and have weighed 2,500 pounds (!), lived about 60 million years ago in northeastern Colombia. Primarily aquatic, the snake could slither on land and is thought to have crushed its prey like a modern day boa constrictor.

So what did this mammoth monster eat? Probably crocodiles or fish, according to an article written by TimesOnline environment reporter Lewis Smith. Based upon the size of these cold-blooded creatures, scientists are hypothesizing that the earth must have been quite warm back then, over 7 degrees F hotter than today's average temperatures.

Now, I realize that the giant frog was hopping around Africa some ten million years earlier than the giant snake went cruising along in South America. But doesn't it make you wonder what our planet looked like so many millions of years ago? (How big were the bugs?!)

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