From the small-sized, generally harmless common garter snakes, school kids learn that reptiles are cold-blooded animals, meaning they require an external source of heat to provide energy for movement and metabolism.
Reptiles also grow continuously throughout their lives, reaching an eventual stable state, then slowing down their body size expansion.
One of the few things that put a maximum limit to how much they can grow is the habitat ambient temperature; the warmer it gets, the bigger they can be, as in the case with Titanoboa, an extinct constrictor that would put even the most giant anaconda like a worm in comparison.
It probably was the giant snake to have ever slithered the Earth.
The giant snake was related to modern anacondas and boas – snakes that kill their prey by suffocation constricting the victims so tight that blood cannot circulate.
During the Middle to Late Paleocene epoch, or around 10 million years after the extinction event that wiped out most plants and animals, including the Dinosaurs, evolution got a bit carried away and created a 45-foot long snake that weighed 2,500 pounds, now known as the Titanoboa.
10 /10 La Guajira, Northeastern Colombia
About 55 million years ago, in the swampy waters known as La Guajira in northeastern Colombia, a monstrous giant snake lurked by Titanoboa.
It was a time of evolutionary period after the Dinosaurs went extinct. Stretching to 45 feet long and weighing up to 2,500 pounds, Titanoboa was at least ten times as heavy as an average green anaconda.
It was so massive that the snake pushed the boundaries of simply being able to exist on land and stay relevant to the laws of physics.
9 /10 Relatively New
For sure, Titanoboa had gone extinct before modern humans arrived, but at its discovery in 2009 by an international team of researchers, the giant snake was brand new to science.
The expedition unearthed the fossils of 28 individual Titanoboas from an open-pit coal mine of Cerrejón in Colombia.
Partial skeletons were subsequently transported to the Florida Museum of National History for analysis.
Based on the size of the fossilized vertebrae, it was determined that the fossils belonged to a massive snake of massive proportions between 42 and 45 feet long.