Forty-foot long ancient snake

Researchers in Colombia have found fossils of a snake that was more than 40 feet long and weighed over a ton. The paleontologists from the Florida Museum of Natural History say that the snake was a relative of the boa constrictor and slithered around 60 million years ago. From Science News:
At a site in northern Colombia, (paleontologist Jonathan) Bloch and his colleagues unearthed the partial remains of an ancient snake. Each of the dozen or so vertebrae in that body segment measured about 10 centimeters across. That’s about twice the width of the largest vertebra taken from a 6-meter–long, modern-day anaconda, another modern relative, Bloch notes.

None of the ribs included in the fossil are complete, but the size and curvature of the fragments that remain indicate that the snake “would have had trouble fitting though the door into your office,” he adds. The gargantuan fossils represent an as yet unnamed species.
Fossil Find May Document Largest Snake


  1. It’s that snake from Conan the Barbarian, when Conan gets loaded and decides to rob James Earl Jones’ temple.

  2. Actually, that time it did help. If he didn’t turn in to a snake he wouldn’t have escaped, and Conan would have surely Governated him.

  3. What sort of ecosystem existed in Columbia when this thing was alive? If it was a rolling prairie of some sort, then there were some serious snakes on that plain.

  4. @2 I submit my own life as refutation of that rule.

    I hope they are able to find more complete remains. Many modern large snakes show now vestigal bone structure indicating a time when they still had legs, that is you can see a sort pelvic structure to a portion of their skeleton. I wonder where this one fell in the evolutionary process.

    Also, I believe the Scifi channel was ahead of the curve on this one – doesn’t one of their horrible CGI giant snake movies involve a jurassic park style cloning of such an ancient giant snake

  5. Ride the snake, ride the snake
    To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
    The snake is long, seven miles
    Ride the snake…hes old, and his skin is cold

  6. The snake from Conan was a related species. This one preferred to feed on British kids who dared enter the Chamber of Secrets.

  7. …the size and curvature of the fragments that remain indicate that the snake “would have had trouble fitting though the door into your office.”

    Well, that’s a relief – the last thing I need at work is an infestation of 40-foot, one ton, anacondas.

    1. would have had trouble fitting though the door into your office

      That would be a very small office door. A normally proportioned forty foot snake would have a maximum diameter of about a foot and a half.

  8. “So far, the paleontologists haven’t unearthed any mammal fossils at the site, so it’s a mystery as to what these creatures preyed upon.”

    I don’t know which is scarier, the giant snake or the giant mongoose that killed it.

  9. Now that I’ve read the comments, I’m getting the idea that we know when to date the events in the Conan movie. (What — you mean it wasn’t nonfiction?)

  10. The remains of several bipedal badgers were also found nearby, along with what appeared to be dried porcini.

  11. This was an gem of a natural history museum, at least when I was growing up in Gainesville. Their old building was built into the ground, a combination of earthship-meets-hanging-gardens-of-babylon. (I beleive they’ve since moved to larger digs.) They had recreations of a Mayan temple (still fun for playing “Let’s Sacrifice the Sibling!”) and a cave, and huge walls of taxidermied specimens. And annual open houses of the labs. Ah, good times….

  12. Forty feet long? Jesus. It kind of makes you wonder whether or not there are still some “Anaconda”-like snakes just still out there in the jungle. Then again, it would probably be pretty hard to hide from civilization when you are over 40 feet long and weigh over a ton.

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