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The Mother Of All Snakes Was A Big Mother

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Author Topic: The Mother Of All Snakes Was A Big Mother  (Read 44 times)
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« on: February 24, 2009, 03:43:41 am »

Meet the giant snake big enough to eat a crocodile
Deborah Smith Science Editor
February 5, 2009

REMAINS of the world's biggest snake - a giant more than 13 metres long and weighing more than a tonne - have been discovered in South America.

The monstrous reptile slithered through the rainforest about 60 million years ago, just after the demise of the dinosaurs, feasting on turtles and crocodiles.

It was a case of prehistoric reality exceeding the fantasies of Hollywood, said a member of the international expedition that made the find, Jonathan Bloch, a University of Florida palaeontologist.

"The snake that tried to eat Jennifer Lopez in the movie Anaconda is not as big as the one we found," he said.

Fossilised vertebrae from eight Titanoboa cerrejonensis were uncovered in a Colombian coal mine, along with skeletons of their aquatic prey.

The discovery is more than a curiosity, with implications for understanding how the tropics will respond to global warming.

Based on the size of the cold-blooded creature, the researchers have calculated the average temperature when the snake lived must have been about 34 degrees. This is about 6 degrees hotter than today, they conclude in their study, which is published in the journal Nature.

The team leader, a University of Toronto palaeontologist, Jason Head, said it may mean tropical rainforests can cope better with high temperatures than was thought.

This goes against the prevailing view that a tropical thermostat exists that has prevented equatorial regions heating up as much as elsewhere during previous hot periods.

Whether this thermostat is real is important, said Matthew Huber, a climate scientist from Indiana's Purdue University. The tropics drive the circulation of air and oceans. They "also dominate global biodiversity and have frequently been considered stable safe havens for fauna and flora," Dr Huber said.


I note they said it was 6 deg hotter then than now,I it is true what does this mean for the glob warming people Huh
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