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.
(Flickr user muzina_shanghai)
The coil-shelled, aquatic creatures called ammonites left their distinctive fossils behind in abundance. Of the many species known, the biggest may have been one of the last. Parapuzosia seppenradensis, an ammonite discovered in roughly 80-million-year-old rock layers in Germany, had a shell about six and a half feet across.