Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, a realistic replica of the world’s largest snake is on exhibit at Mobius Science Center until November 26, 2017. The Smithsonian shares Titanoboa: Monster Snake, an exhibit of titanic proportions and its incredible story. The exhibit features a full-scale model of Titanoboa, casts of the original fossil vertebrae, and clips from the Smithsonian Channel documentary; it delves into the discovery, reconstruction, and implications of this enormous reptile.
Discovered in a Colombian coal mine, scientists uncovered the 60 million-year-old remains of the largest snake in the history of the world, Titanoboa cerrejonensis. In the era after the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, scientists believe that the colossal snake is related to modern boa constrictors and could crush and devour a crocodile! It is believed that this massive predator thrived in a hot tropical climate from which the South American rainforest emerged.
Fossilized plants and animals found at the site reveal the earliest known rainforest, teeming with life and dating to the Paleocene epoch. Fossil finds included giant turtles and crocodiles, as well as the first-known bean plants and some of the earliest banana, avocado, and chocolate plants. Their most spectacular discovery was the fossilized vertebrae of a previously undiscovered species of snake.
Titanoboa: Monster Snake is a collaboration between the Florida Museum of Natural History, the University of Nebraska, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The exhibition’s national tour has been organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The exhibition is sponsored locally by Spokane International Airport, Max J. Kuney Construction, and Washington Trust Bank.