The Terrifying Titanoboa

 | Grace Higgins

In the dusty outback of Northern Colombia, deep in the Cerrejon about just 60 miles from the Caribbean coast, you will find one of the largest coal operations in operation. It covers an area larger than Washington D.C. and estimates advise there are regularly over 10,000 workers employed. The company that operates the mining, Carbones del Cerrejón Limited, has reported yearly extracts of over 31.5 million tons of coal.

And yes you guessed it, where there are huge amounts of coal, there are also large amounts of fossils. Cerrejon happens to be one of ttt look at and research the life of the dinosaurs. And of course over extinct creatures from the long-lost prehistoric age, such as the terrifying Titanoboa. A snake so big you may have thought it would only exist in an Indiana Jones movie.

You see 50 million years ago Cerrejon was a swampy wasteland of the jungle, hotter and wetter than anywhere we know before. And everything was also much bigger than today, even the leaves and trees were 4 or 5 times bigger than what we are used to in modern times. In river basins, researchers have discovered crocodile skins that were well over 12 feet long and not to mention the turtle shells that were twice the size of manhole covers. Of course, this also meant there were huge snakes.

The lord of the jungle was a Titanoboa, a snake over 40 feet long and weighing more than a ton. Able to eat any animal that it saw, it behaved like a water-dwelling anaconda even though it resembles more a boa constrictor. And just because it was the largest snake ever was not why researchers were so amazed, it was because its discovery implied a whole different understanding of how history & animals evolved.

Never before had pathologists and scientists believed creatures so big had roamed freely around the globe.