World’s biggest snake lived in first “modern” rain forest 60 mln yrs agoOctober 14th, 2009 - 5:02 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, October 14 (ANI): A new study has suggested that the world’s biggest snake lived in the earliest known “modern” rain forest some 60 million years ago.
According to a report in National Geographic News, the study is based on more than 2,000 fossil leaves recently discovered in Colombia’s Cerrejon coal mine-the same place where scientists had found fossils of Titanoboa cerrejonesis earlier this year.
Many of the newfound plant fossils are of palm, legume, and flowering species that still dominate South America’s rain forests, according to study team member Scott Wing, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
“That was kind of surprising,” Wing said. “What we’re seeing here is the first modern rain forest that we have any record of,” he added.
Based on the fossil leaves, scientists think Titanoboa’s rain forest was a few degrees warmer and contained fewer plant species than the modern version.
This lower diversity could be evidence that the ancient forests were still recovering from the catastrophic event that killed off the dinosaurs some five million years earlier, according to the scientists.
The team thinks that a dino-killer asteroid may have struck several hundred miles away from Colombia, in what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Such an impact could have triggered forest fires and worldwide climate change.
In fact, pollen fossils from before the impact show that South America’s dino-era forests were dramatically different from the tropical rain forests Titanoboa called home.
The plant species that existed alongside the world’s largest snake were so successful that many of them survived to the modern day. (ANI)
- Gigantic new turtle fossil discovered - Jul 12, 2012
- World's largest snake feasted on ancient croc relative 60 mln yrs ago - Feb 03, 2010
- Ancient croc kin likely food for largest ever snake - Feb 03, 2010
- Scientists find car-sized turtle fossil - May 18, 2012
- 60-mln yr old giant snake would have made modern anacondas seem like garter snakes - Feb 05, 2009
- New method 'to determine if dinosaurs were warm or cold-blooded' - May 25, 2010
- Global warming threat to tropical rainforests exaggerated - Nov 14, 2010
- Sharks were once small, harmless fish - Sep 12, 2011
- Cocaine production speeding up destruction of Colombia's rainforests - Feb 10, 2011
- Global warming 60m years ago improved Tropical forest diversity - Nov 12, 2010
- Fossilized fig wasp hasn't changed for over 34 million years - Jun 16, 2010
- Flowers produce chemicals to keep greedy bees at bay: Study - Feb 02, 2011
- Ancient giant penguin existed on Earth 36 million years ago - Oct 01, 2010
- Invading 'killer bees' may increase food supplies for native bees - Oct 02, 2009
- One in five of the world's plants facing extinction - Sep 29, 2010
Tags: ancient forests, biggest snake, catastrophic event, cerrejon, climate change, coal mine, few degrees, five million years, forest fires, largest snake, museum of natural history, national geographic news, national museum of natural history, paleontologist, plant fossils, plant species, rain forest, tropical rain forests, worldwide climate, yucatan peninsula