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Feb 5, 2009

Worlds Biggest Snake fossil found



NEW YORK – Never mind the 40-foot snake that menaced Jennifer Lopez in the 1997 movie "Anaconda." Not even Hollywood could match a new discovery from the ancient world. Fossils from northeastern Colombia reveal the biggest snake ever discovered: a behemoth that stretched 42 to 45 feet long, reaching more than 2,500 pounds.

"This thing weighs more than a bison and is longer than a city bus," enthused snake expert Jack Conrad of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, who was familiar with the find.

"It could easily eat something the size of a cow. A human would just be toast immediately."

"If it tried to enter my office to eat me, it would have a hard time squeezing through the door," reckoned paleontologist Jason Head of the University of Toronto Missisauga.

Actually, the beast probably munched on ancient relatives of crocodiles in its rainforest home some 58 million to 60 million years ago, he said.

Head is senior author of a report on the find in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

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