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Gigantophis garstini
#1
Gigantophis garstini

[Image: Snake.jpg]

Temporal range: Late Eocene

Kingdom: Animalia 
Phylum: Chordata 
Class: Sauropsida 
Order: Squamata 
Suborder: Serpentes 
Family: †Madtsoiidae
Genus: †Gigantophis C. W. Andrews, 1901

Gigantophis garstini was a prehistoric snake which may have measured more than 10 metres (33 ft), larger than any living species of snake. It once took the mantle of largest snake before Titanoboa, which was discovered in Colombia in 2009. Gigantophis lived approximately 40 million years ago in the southern Sahara where Egypt and Algeria are now situated.

Discovery
The species is known only from a small number of fossils, and may have preyed on basal proboscideans, pig-sized ancestors of modern elephants.

Species
Gigantophis is classified as a member of the madtsoiid family.

Size
Jason Head, of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has compared the fossil vertebrae of a Gigantophis to those of the largest modern snakes, and concluded that the extinct snake could grow to 9.3 metres (31 ft) to 10.7 metres (35 ft) in length. If 10.7 metres (35 ft), it would have been more than 10 percent longer than its largest living relatives.


[Image: Gigantophis.jpg]
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