The Prehistoric Giants Hall of Fame
What were the largest species of all time? Does the Tyrannosaurus rex make the list?
- By Brian Switek
- Smithsonian magazine, April 2012
Titanoboa was one gigantic snake. It lived around 58 to 60 million years ago, a scant several million years after the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. It could grow 42 feet or more in length and weigh more than a ton, vastly outslithering the previous fossil record holder, a 40-million-year-old, 33-foot-long snake called Gigantophis. But Titanoboa is just one proud inductee in the Prehistoric Giants Hall of Fame. Meet the other record-holders.
(Luci Betti-Nash / Stony Brook University)
Today’s largest frog, the 13-inch-long goliath frog, is an imposing amphibian. But the recently described Beelzebufo was even bigger. This frog, discovered in the 70-million-year-old rock of Madagascar, measured about 16 inches long and may have weighed more than 10 pounds.