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Titanoboa cerrejonensis

Titanoboa, meaning "titanic boa", is an extinct genus of snake that lived approximately 60 to 58 million years ago, during the Paleocene epoch, (approximately 60-58 million years ago) a 10-million-year period immediately following the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event that wiped out the majority of terrestrial life, including the dinosaurs. After the mass extinction event, Titanoboa was, for the majority of the Paleocene epoch, the largest non-marine vertebrate. It is the largest snake ever discovered at an estimated 43 feet long, and to date, paleontologists have identified about 180 different bones, mainly vertebrae and costae (rib bones) belonging to 28 individual specimens from a cache of fossils excavated from El Cerrejon coal mine in northern Colombia. The prepped fossils were later revealed in early 2007 at the University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida. However, this is not the first occurence of large snake fossils that have been discovered in South America before. An example would be Madtsoia bai, a huge constrictor known from fossils discovered in Argentina in the mid 1930s. This particular species was believed to be up to 12 meters long, huge by modern snake standards but still 20% smaller than Titanoboa. (Read more...)


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Paul Sereno2

Paul Sereno is an American paleontologist who is the discoverer of several new dinosaur species on several continents. He has conducted excavations at sites as varied as Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger. He is a professor at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence." Sereno's most widely publicized discovery is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator (popularly known as SuperCroc) at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger. Other major discoveries include Eoraptor - the oldest known dinosaur fossil, Jobaria, the first good skull of Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, Afrovenator, Suchomimus and the African pterosaur. (Read more...)

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"Cryolophosaurus is also of significance because it represents the oldest known tetanuran from any continent — it is the only one from the Early Jurassic."
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Dorudon field1

This fossil skeleton of Dorudon, around 50 million years old, has been partially excavated and reassembled where found in Wadi Al-Hitan. Dozens of whale skeletons remain undisturbed on the floor of the valley, usually indicated by small mounds created as wind erosion uncovered them. Dorudon was a genus of ancient cetacean that lived alongside Basilosaurus 41 to 33 million years ago, in the Eocene. They were about five meters (16 ft) long and were most likely carnivorous, feeding on small fish and mollusks. Dorudontines lived in warm seas around the world. Fossils have been found in North America, Egypt as well as Pakistan the eastern part of which bordered the ancient Tethys Sea.

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