Newly discovered fossils of prehistoric snake monstrous explain some of the facts from the past and raises questions about the future. About 58 million years ago, a huge snake crawled out of the swampy jungles of South America and became a master of terror.
Weighing more than a ton and a length of about 14 meters giant reptile could easily swallow a crocodile. But a few years ago, scientists did not even know that there was such a monster.
"We could not have imagined that he had discovered a 14-meter long boa" - said Dr. Carlos Dzharamilo (Carlos Jaramillo), scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and a member of the archaeological team, made a discovery.
Regarded as a distant relative of the anaconda and boa snake Titanoboa was not poisonous. However, it literally crushes its prey, squeezing it with a force of 400 kN. Fossils have been found during excavations in a huge coal mine Serrehon (Cerrejon) in northern Colombia. In 2002, scientists discovered the remains in the area of tropical rain forest Paleocene Epoch, which may have started life on the planet.
Besides fossilized leaves and plants, the scientists extracted fossil reptiles very impressive size. "What we found was a giant world of lost reptiles - turtles the size of a kitchen table and the biggest crocodiles that ever registered in the history of the fossil" - said Jonathan Bloch (Jonathan Bloch), an expert in the evolution of vertebrates from the University of Florida.
There they found a snake spine colossal proportions.
However, scientists could not find the skull snake to get a full picture of how the animal looked like and what to eat and what relation had to modern snakes. In the past year, the research team did was lucky to find the skull, or rather some of its fragments. Snake skull bones were so fragile that barely survived.
Trying to explain the incredible size of the reptiles, the scientists noted that the snake can not regulate their own body temperature, their lives depend directly on the climate habitat.
"We think Titanoboa assumed such gigantic proportions as at the equator 60 million years ago, after the extinction of the dinosaurs was much warmer climate," - said Dr. Bloch. "This is a clear confirmation that the ecosystem can develop at a temperature level that will prevail in the next two or three centuries."
This ability of the animals to develop and reach such epic proportions in a warm climate makes scientists think about a lot, given the disappointing daily predictions about global warming added Dr. Bloch.
Does this mean that Titanoboa once again take over the Earth?
"As soon as the temperature will increase in the world to grow and the possibility of their return," - said Dr Jaramillo. "But for the development of a new species of animals takes time. A lot of the time. It may take millions of years, but the existence of such animals in the future, perhaps!"
Based on materials from BBC News