|“||The length of an 18 wheeler and weighing more than 50 adult humans, the Titanoboa is three times the size of an anaconda. Discovered in a Columbian mine, not much is known about this giant snake, who was around in the period following the extinction of the dinosaurs.||„|
|— Allen, about Titanoboa|
Titanoboa (name meaning "Titanic Boa") is a genus of gargantuan Boidae that originated during the Middle Paleocene epoch in what is now South America. Essentially a large prehistoric snake that evolved right after the non-avian dinosaurs died out (immediately following the dinosaur extinction event), Titanoboa was the largest snake of all time, measuring around 21 meters long and reaching 11.5 tons in weight, and was also one of the worlds apex predators.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Titanoboa lived in South America during the Middle to Late Paleocene epoch, around 60 to 56 million years ago, a 5-million-year period immediately following the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. Titanoboa was said to be among the apex predators of its day as well as one of the most famous prehistoric creatures in the world.
In the year 2009, the fossils of 28 individuals of Titanoboa were found in the Cerrejón Formation of the coal mines of Cerrejón in La Guajira, Colombia. The snake was discovered on an expedition by a team of international scientists led by Jonathan Bloch (a University of Florida vertebrate paleontologist) and Carlos Jaramillo (a paleobotanist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama). The name Titanoboa literately means "titanic boa". The species epithet cerrejonensis refers to the Cerrejón coal mine and the Cerrejón Formation, in which the fossils have been found.
Titanoboa was vaguely similar to modern-day constrictors, but only it was much larger. In fact, it is the largest species of snake that had ever lived on planet Earth; on average, measuring approximately 42–47 feet (12–14 m) long and weighing 1.25–1.5 tons (2,500–3,000 lbs.), it also possessed a large head equipped with large eyes and jaws. However, the largest Titanoboa ever discovered was a colossal individual that measured an immense 70 feet (21 m) long and weighed around 11.5 tons (25,000 lbs.).
Despite its large size, Titanoboa could swim with great speed in the waters. Additionally, on land, Titanoboa was surprisingly a very fast animal, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50 mph if it ever needed to. This makes Titanoboa a very difficult animal to outrun.
Additionally, as it turns out, Titanoboa also had considerably thick skin, which Rebecca once described as "damn near bulletproof". As such, whenever the snake was shot at, it barely flinched. Titanoboa also possessed enhanced night vision, allowing it to see in the darkest places. Titanoboa interestingly had a defense mechanism when attacked. Like all snakes, Titanoboa appeared to be at its most vulnerable when it digested its food. However, if or when it was ever threatened or attacked by another predator, even another Titanoboa, these snakes, much like anacondas, possessed the ability to spit their food out and attack.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Much like Megalodon, Titanoboa was a solitary hunter, as it was large enough to hunt prey on its own. It only got together with other members of its kind during mating season. Titanoboa hunted its prey by infrasound; due to this, it was drawn to low-frequency noise and vibrations and was less likely to attack still and silent prey. Upon locking on prey, Titanoboa would often head in for the kill, attacking via striking and constricting around their prey, squeezing them so hard they cannot breathe and then devouring the prey whole.
When confronting small prey, such as the size of a human, Titanoboa was capable of eating that prey whole in a short amount of time without the need to constrict it. However, when hunting large prey of a similar size to the snake itself, it would constrict around that large prey with enough strength that the prey could not breathe. To defend itself when attacked, Titanoboa could also whip an enemy with its tail.
- Titanoboa is the largest snake brought to the park.
- The Titanoboa featured in Prehistoric Earth was far longer than any real-life remains of Titanoboa in the fossil record. The series portrays Titanoboa at 21 m (70 ft.) in length while in reality, Titanoboa grew up to 14 m (47 ft.) long at maximum.
- Titanoboa, like all snakes, cannot hear due to its lack of ears.
- The sound effects of Titanoboa are that of typical snake hisses (including cobras) as well as crocodile and walrus sound effects.