Essay Example - Titanoboa

Published: 2023-03-15
Essay Example - Titanoboa
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Knowledge Biology Animals
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 568 words
5 min read

From the video, Titanoboa refers to the nonexistent genus of a big snake that lived in La Guajira, northeastern Colombia. The snake reptile grew to a length of 12.7m with a weight of 1, 135kg. Scientists have been able to trace the above snake through the study of fossil fuels as well as archaeological evidence (Methos, 2016). According to the documentary, the snake is estimated to live over 65. million years ago (Methos, 2016). Scientifically, it is very hard to elaborate on why ancient animals or reptiles were so huge compared to those animals that are in existence today. Snakes are ectothermic, meaning that their internal physiological sources of heat are negligible when it comes to the control of internal body temperature. Therefore, large snakes in ancient times, such as Titanoboa, required warmers environments to survive. Specifically, the temperature could have been 320C. Over 65 million years ago, the temperature of the earth was warmer, a situation that allowed smaller animals to achieve enormous sizes (Methos, 2016). Currently, larger ectothermic snakes are found in the tropical regions where there are higher temperatures while the smaller ones live in the regions further away from the equator.

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The most interesting part of the documentary is the relationship between body size and environmental temperature. Hotter environments are also associated with lower atmospheric pressure. Therefore to regulate their physiological activities, animals in these regions require larger surface areas. With the hotter environments that were experienced over 60 million years ago, larger animals had got a greater advantage. It appears that smaller snakes disappeared due to natural selection (Methos, 2016). They found a harsh environment that could not support life and therefore, they died. On the other hand, to adapt to the environmental conditions, snakes tend to possess achieve larger body sizes, as in the case of Titanoboa. With climate change, temperature reduced significantly, causing larger animals to be extinct while smaller animals to continue surviving. Today, it is very difficult to find enormous animals in tropical regions. However, if they exist, they tend to thrive within some microclimatic regions where they can carry out physiological activities efficiently. In most cases, snakes, and reptiles are cold-blooded animals and therefore, they tend to have varying body temperatures. It means that they can thrive both in higher and lower-temperature ecosystems. However, with huge snakes such as Titanoboa, there was a need for hotter environments for survival.

Response to the Answer

In most cases, through carbon dating and the study of the DNA found in fossil fuel, it is very easy to determine the size of the original animals that existed over millions of years ago. With the changes in the temperature due to climate change, through natural selection, larger reptiles naturally died as they could not withstand the sudden changes in temperatures. The gradual reduction in temperature led to the smaller snakes that can be found today in the tropical regions. Even though many scientific pieces of evidence point out that temperatures of the earth over millions of years ago were higher, the approaches used are questionable and still, there are huge reptiles that exist today, including python. However, these snakes are found in hotter areas including lake regions and low land areas. The mode of prey usually depends on the size and adaptation of different animals and even though python uses constriction to prey on other animals, they cannot attack and kill much larger animals.


Methos, V. (2016). Titanoboa: A thriller. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace.

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