Titanoboa: Monster Snake

From a fossil bed deep within Colombia’s Cerrejón coal mine emerges Titanoboa, the largest snake ever found. This Paleocene reptile—from the epoch following the dinosaurs’ demise—stretches our concept of what a snake can be. At 48 feet, this mega snake was longer than a school bus and was at the top of the monster-eat-monster food chain.

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Smithsonian Channel, and the Florida Museum of Natural History, Titanoboa: Monster Snake is an amazing look at a lost world and the incredible creatures that inhabited it.

For the team of paleontologists, finding Titanoboa is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. This reptile, along with other significant fossils unearthed in the Cerrejón coal mine, provides the first glimpse of the earliest known rainforest.

Until 2004, no one knew what lived in the South American tropics during the Paleocene epoch (65.5 to 56 million years ago). Then a student on a research expedition uncovered something remarkable, the first glimpse of a long-forgotten group of animals, with Titanoboa among them—a 60 million-year-old-beast that was able to crush and devour massive prehistoric crocodiles. What conditions nurtured such a creature? Could those conditions—and snakes of this enormous size ever return?

Using the known correlation between snake body size and environmental temperature as a guide, the team estimates that the average temperature in the rainforest was between 84 and 89.6°F (29-32°C). Modern tropical rainforests range from 79 to 81.5°F (26-27.5°C). This seemingly minor difference was a necessary factor in the evolution of Cerrejón’s massive reptiles, including huge crocodiles and turtles—all far larger than their modern relatives.

Titanoboa: Monster Snake is based on the research of: Carlos Jaramillo, PhD, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute–Panama; Jonathan Bloch, PhD, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida; Jason Head, PhD, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; P. David Polly, PhD, Indiana University.

This exhibition is a collaboration of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and the Smithsonian Channel.

More news about Titanoboa:

Exhibition specifications

Contents Four freestanding, lightweight curved interpretative panels. Two have 37-inch flat screen monitors, one has a small case with a model vertebrae from a Titanoboa and a modern anaconda. 48-foot-long model snake on rollable flooring; Eight interpretive stanchions and a back-drop
Supplemental Educational and promotional resources, speakers list
Participation Fee $18,000 per 12-week booking, plus prorated shipping
Size Approximately 2,000 square feet (could be smaller)
Crates 14
Weight 6,870 lbs.
Category Science & Natural History
Security Moderate
Shipping $6,208, Prorated
SITES Contacts Minnie Russell, 202.633.3160 (Scheduling)
Sara Artes, 202.633.3113 (Content)
Tour Through 2018
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Tour itinerary

Opening Closing Host Institution Status
01/26/2013- 08/11/2013- Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL Booked
09/14/2013- 02/02/2014 Museum of Arts and SciencesMacon, GA Booked
02/22/2014- 09/06/2014 University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln, NE Booked
09/27/2014- 01/25/2015 Delaware Museum of Natural History, Wilmington, DE
02/14/2015- 04/19/2015 The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA Booked
05/09/2015- 08/02/2015 Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS Booked
08/22/2015- 11/15/2015 Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of WA, Seattle, WA Booked
12/05/2015- 02/28/2016 Schiele Museum of Natural History, Gastonia, NC Booked
03/19/2016- 06/12/2016 Idaho Museum of Natural History, Pocatello, ID Booked
07/02/2016- 09/25/2016 Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK Booked
10/15/2016- 01/08/2017 Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Las Vegas, NV Booked
01/28/2017- 04/23/2017 Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, MS Booked
05/19/2017- 08/06/2017 Dinosaur Journey - Museums of Western Colorado, Fruita, CO Booked
08/26/2017- 11/26/2017   Call for Availability
12/16/2017- 03/18/2018 Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT Booked
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Press Release

None listed at this time. Please check back again.

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Tour Specifications

Tour Itinerary

Titanoboa @NMNH

Meet the Scientists

Read SImag Article

Twitter #Titanoboa

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