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Titanoboa, when did he live and how did the world's largest snake disappear?

2023-08-20 11:06:00, Kuriozitete CNA

Titanoboa, when did he live and how did the world's largest snake

It was the first period after the Age of Dinosaurs in a part of the world that had just begun to recover from the collision of a giant asteroid with Earth, which brought catastrophic consequences for life on the planet. The recovery phase brought about the appearance of tropical rain forests along the equator that still exist today. A wet and swampy landscape covered in dense tropical foliage that contained ample places for Titanoboa to hide.

And what was the biggest snake in the world?

Titanoboa, the world's largest snake, lived during the Paleocene Epoch about 58 to 60 million years ago. It thrived alongside other large species such as crocodiles 4 meters long and turtles over 2.5 meters long. They may have looked similar to today's snakes, except they were much larger.

It was the beginning of the age of mammals, but they had not yet had time to grow. They were still few in number and scattered far and wide, in a desperate attempt to escape the wrath of the giant reptiles that were thriving in a much warmer climate. Mammals did not yet have time to diversify and populate almost all regions of the globe as it happens today.

How big was Titanoboa?

Carlos Jaramillo, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, says Titanoboas averaged about 14 meters long, or 33 percent longer than the green anaconda, the largest snake in existence today. Jaramillo and his team have built two life-size models of the snake to show its incredible size.

"Only when you stand next to him do you realize how big he really was," he says. All Titanoboa remains so far have been found in a coal mine deep in the Colombian rainforest and described in a study first published in 2009 in the journal Nature.

They refer to a time when a warmer climate brought the appearance of large species that flourished even as a result of the high level of humidity. According to the study, "the size of this snake shows that at that time there was an average annual neotropical temperature of 30-34 degrees Celsius, significantly higher than previous estimates for that period". Since that time, several specimens have been discovered in the coal mine, indicating that they were probably one of the most abundant species living in the habitat.

Titanoboa, when did he live and how did the world's largest snake

Where did Titanoboa live?

Too heavy to live in trees, Titanoboa would have lived on the ground, living near water, inactive most of the time and waiting patiently to pounce on any giant tortoise or crocodile that might fall victim to its bite. his powerful.

“Ai i gëlltiste të tërin, dhe më pas i treste për muaj të tërë, duke ngrënë 3-4 herë në vit”- thotë Jaramillo. Po ashtu, janë zbuluar mbetje breshkash të mëdha me zhguallin e thyer, dhe kjo mund të jetë shkaktuar nga sulmi nga krijesa gjigante, por që në një farë mënyre arritën të mbijetojnë.

Kur u zhdukën Titanoboat?

Paleoceni në këtë pjesë të botës, ilustron një ekosistem që mund të shfaqet si pasojë e ndryshimeve klimatike globale, ku nuk ka akull në Pole, dhe ku temperaturat janë më të nxehta dhe më të lagështa në pyjet e shiut. Megjithatë, është gjithashtu një vend i vështirë për të studiuar, thotë Xhonatan Blok, paleontolog në Universitetin e Floridës, SHBA.

“Ne dimë shumë pak për të, sidomos rreth ekuatorit (ku do të ketë jetuar Titanoboa) sepse është e vështirë të gjesh fosile në një vend që ka një biodiversitet kaq të bollshëm”- shprehet Blok. Për të gjetur fosile, ekspertët duhet të jenë në gjendje të shohin dhe eksplorojnë shkëmbinj që fshihen në pyjet e shiut, sepse ata janë shpesh të mbuluara nga bimësia. “Shumica e të dhënave tona mbi Paleocenin, burojnë nga lokalitete me gjerësi më të lartë gjeografike që janë kryesisht në rajone shkretëtinore”- thotë Blok. Kjo mund të jetë një pjesë e arsyes pse nuk jemi të sigurt se kur apo pse u zhduk Titanoboa. Ai mund të ishte zhdukur siç ndodh me shumë kafshë, dhe të ketë krijuar një grup më të vogël lloj gjarpërinjsh që tani e quajnë shtëpinë e tyre pyllin e shiut./ Pershtatur nga CNA

As the Earth cooled, species shrank in body mass, raising the question of whether a warmer planet could usher in the re-emergence of once-great reptiles. Blok is skeptical because much of the habitat where Titanoboa and other species once thrived in tropical rainforests has been reduced and deforested by an even bigger known predator: humans./ Adapted from CNA

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