Kathleen, a 14-foot (4.3-meter), 90-pound (40-kilogram) anaconda, is examined at the New England Aquarium in Boston in 2007.
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.
Like an anaconda, Titanoboa
was a constrictor, and considering its size, the snake's crushing grip "would be probably like one of those devices they use to crush old cars in a junkyard," said Hans-Dieter Sues of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
--Ted Chamberlain, based on reporting by John Roach
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Photograph by Elise Amendola/Associated Press