Prehistoric giant snake exhibit coming to Delaware this month
● By Lev
From a fossil bed deep within Colombia's Cerrejón coal mine, scientists have uncovered remains of the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa. Measuring 48 feet long and weighing 2,500 pounds, this massive predator could crush and devour a crocodile. Now, visitors can learn about this ancient reptile at the Delaware Natural History Museum from Sept. 27 through Jan. 25.
Featuring a full-scale model of Titanoboa and clips from a Smithsonian Channel documentary, the exhibit delves into the discovery, reconstruction and implications of this enormous reptile. Fossil plants and animals found at the site reveal the earliest known rainforest, dating to the Paleocene that followed the demise of the dinosaurs.
The discovery of Titanoboa was made by a team of scientists working in one of the world's largest open-pit coal mines at Cerrejón in La Guajira, Colombia. Fossil finds included giant turtles and crocodiles, as well as the first-known bean plants, and some of the earliest banana, avocado and chocolate plants. But their most spectacular discovery was the fossilized vertebrae of a previously undiscovered species of snake.
The exhibit, “Titanoboa: Monster Snake,” includes the snake replica and two vertebrae casts made from the original fossils. The museum will also host a photo exhibit highlighting the many species of snakes found in Delaware.
The museum is at 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Del. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for ages 3 to 17, $8 for seniors, free for ages 2 and younger. For more information, visit www.delmnh.org or call 302-658-9111.