Absurd Creature of the Week:  Titanoboa

by Matt Simon

60 million years ago, in the swampy waters of what is now Colombia, there lurked a serpent of similar hyperbole: titanoboa, by far the biggest snake that ever lived. At nearly 50 feet long and weighing in at 2,500 pounds, it was 10 times as heavy as the average green anaconda, a giant that now rules titanoboa’s stomping grounds… or slithering grounds, I guess you’d say.

Titanoboa was so big, it pushed the boundaries of being able to exist on land and remain in accordance with the laws of physics. You, me, every cat and antelope and towering sauropod, we’ve all evolved under the constraints of gravity. Evolution got a bit carried away and produced the 100-foot blue whale, the biggest critter ever, only because gravity doesn’t affect giants as much in the sea…

(read more: Wired Science)

images: photo - Getty Images; Illustration - Univ. of Florida

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