masthead2b
 

Titanic Boa, Titanoboa cerrejonensis Head et al.

The red flag marks the type locality for Titanoboa cerrejonensis, which is La Puente Pit, Cerrejon Coal Mine, Guajira Peninsula, Colombia.
locality map
Type locality: La Puente Pit, Cerrejon Coal Mine, Guajira Peninsula, Colombia. Holotype:
Titanoboa cerrejonensis is based upon precloacal vertebrae from the Cerrejon Formation from the middle to late Paleocene (58 to 60 MYA). Vertebrae numbered about 185 and represented about 28 individuals. Head and colleagues estimated this snake reached a body length of 13 m and a mass of 1,135 kg. This makes Titanoboa the largest known snake.

The paleo-environment of this snake was a coastal plain rainforest that received about 4 m of precipitation/yr and could have had temperatures that reached 38 to 40°C. The associated vertebrate fauna included podocnemidid pleurodite turtles, dryosaurid mesoeucrocodilians, and elopomorph and dipnoan fishes. Head et al. (2009) suggest its ecology was similar to Eunectes.Thus, Titanoboa was very aquatic and probably fed on large fish, crocodilians, and turtles.

serpentresearch@gmail.com
JCM Natural History © John C. Murphy
footer
Top