Imagine this: you are heading towards the Grand Central Terminal in 2012’s New York City, surrounded by modern cars, talking on your smartphone and holding your laptop in the other hand. Suddenly, you find yourself facing a 48 foot long Titanoboa snake. Don’t worry, you haven’t somehow traveled back in time 60 million years. The Smithsonian brought to NY’s Grand Central Terminal a full scale replica of the Titanoboa.
About 65 million years ago, the Earth was home to what some might call a living nightmare. Scientists have found a new species of a snake that lived at the time of dinosaurs. The snake vertebra of a creature depicted from Spielberg’s movies have been discovered back in 2002 in a Colombian Coal mine which scientists say might have been an ancient rainforest. The discovery was significant since paleontologists also find the snake’s skull, something that it is rarely among their findings.
The Smithsonian Channel has worked on a movie that features the story of the findings in an attempt to communicate and educate science to people. The 48 foot long Titanoboa snake replica in the Grand Central Terminal was part of the museum’s effort to raise awareness and promote the findings. The replica will be moved after today to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., where it will be on display.
Randall Kremer, Smithsonian’s spokesman said the snake replica is meant to “scare the daylights out of people” and “communicate science to a lot of people”.
David Royale, the head of programming with the Smithsonian Channel, introduced the snake: “This is a find that seems so fantastic that it may appear to be an object of fantasy. A creature that has sprung from a Spielberg-imagined past and yes, it has a name that evokes a giant and mythic monster”.
Dr. Jonathan Bloch is a paleontologist and curator with the Museum of Natural History in Florida. He was also a part of the team that discovered the snake fossils. He explained that “Titanoboa was the largest predator on land after the extinction of the dinosaurs for at least 10 million years, maybe longer, so this was a major predator on the earth after the extinction of dinosaurs”.