Page last updated at 08:12 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Largest snake 'as long as a bus'

The discovery of fossilised remains belonging to the world's largest snake has been reported in Nature journal.

Titanoboa was 13m (42ft) long - about the length of a bus - and lived in the rainforest of north-east Colombia 58-60 million years ago.

The snake's gigantic dimensions are a sign that temperatures along the equator were once much hotter.

Palaeontologist Dr Jonathan Bloch, who is studying the fossils, said this is because snakes and other cold-blooded animals are limited in body size by the ambient temperature of where they live.


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