for National Geographic News
The world's biggest snake was a massive anaconda-like beast that slithered through steamy tropical rain forests about 60 million years ago, says a new study that describes the ancient giant.
Fossils found in northeastern Colombia's Cerrejon coal mine indicate the reptile, dubbed Titanoboa cerrejonesis, was at least 42 feet (13 meters) long and weighed 2,500 pounds (1,135 kilograms).
Giant, or green, anacondas are the largest snakes in the world today. At about 300 pounds (136 kilograms), though, a modern anaconda would have been no rival for a 2,500-pound (1,135-kilogram) Titanoboa cerrejones, the newfound prehistoric snake announced in February 2009.
(CNN) -- Scientists in Colombia have unearthed the remains of a true prehistoric monster believed to be the biggest snake ever to have lived on Earth.