Since the advent of human civilization, many animals have been crowned as dangers to humankind, and snakes are no exception to this. To answer When did titanoboa go extinct is about a million years ago but Legends of giant snakes have always been there for centuries, but most people believed them to be a myth and nothing more.
But in 2009, something emerged from the ground that made this whole debate pointless. In 2009, 30 Titanoboa fossils were found in Colombia in cold mines and other places. and by that, the existence of the giant snakes was no longer a myth; it had become the reality that many had been imagining for decades which made people even wonder why do snakes exist in the first place.
What is Titanoboa?
Titanoboa was a species of snake that crawled the earth about 58–60 million years ago. They belonged to the boa family and had an average length of 15–20 meters (about 50 feet); were previous record holder for being the largest snake that ever crawled on the earth.
This monster snake was more than double the size of the green anaconda, which currently holds the title for the world’s biggest species of snake. So if Titanoboa boa never went extinct, they would have had this title, but the question is, will we be there to give this title?
How Would the Food Chain Have Looked Today?
They would be at the top of the food chain today; a snake of this size won’t have any trouble killing a fully-grown tiger, hippopotamus, and other big animals.
When Titanoboa was alive, its main diet consisted of fish and turtles, but everything in those days had a tendency to be colossal, so it didn’t have to hunt too many to survive; only a turtle, which weighed around 400 kg, was enough to sustain him for at least one day. But today, everything is so tiny compared to 60 million years ago that it has to hunt restlessly every day to get a sufficient diet, and because of all this, maybe it would need more than 400 kg of food to survive.
So, if Titanoboa never went extinct, then many of the faunas that exist in today’s world would have gone extinct because of their hunger and 45-foot belly.
What Would the Ecosystem Look Like Today, if Titanoboa Never Went Extinct?
If Titanoboa never went extinct, the ecosystem in which we are living today would have been different.
Humans Might Never Have Existed
If Titanoboa boa never went extinct, they might have munched on the earlier humans or monkeys from which we have evolved, which would have stopped the whole evolution process. Everything that we have done would have been undone, and the earth could have been home to some other species right now.
Here is a video explaining how just a few wolves were able to change the entire ecosystem of an area.
So there is a high probability that, if some of them survived, the world could have been different from what we know now.
Some Other Species Would Have Gone Extinct
The main reason for the demise of these titans was the shortage of food, but they could feed on many other things, such as crocodiles, alligators, and many other animals if they had to. These snakes were faster in water than on land, so their existence could change the whole river ecosystem.
Many small animals would cease to exist, and because of this, the animals that were dependent on them would have lost their prey, and this consequence could follow them to the top of the food chain.
A New Species Might Have Been Born
Due to the harsh conditions created by these snakes, some animals have to evolve to survive; others have to escape the lands they were originally living in and adapt to an entirely different landscape.
What if Titanoboa Came Back Today?
The first thing that will change with their arrival today is that the Anaconda franchise will have to be discontinued. Nobody wants to see the second-largest species of snake munching humans; instead, a new player will take on this role, and he won’t just be eating humans.
Okay, enough of the jokes, but we are not making this assumption on baseless grounds.
In the year 1959, a very esteemed colonel of the Belgian air force, Remy Van Lierde, claimed that while flying through the wilderness during the war, he and two other passengers saw a colossal 50-foot snake. He also states that they flew over it three times to confirm this when this giant snake tried to attack their helicopter.
So could it be possible that this giant snake of the Congo is the same snake we are talking about? There are chances of it being true.
Because one of the main reasons for their extinction was the decreasing temperature of the world, there are chances that some of these crawling monstrosities went into hibernation in these lands and managed to survive till now. Now the temperature of the world is far hotter than it used to be, and the average temperature of the Congo is something between 29 and 31 degrees, which is best suited for a snake of this size.
Will They Be Able to Survive in This Environment?
The temperature today is 18 degrees cooler than it used to be in their days, but there is a twist: these snakes only need an average of 25 degrees Celsius to stay alive. Many parts of the world have an average temperature of more than 25 degrees Celsius, and some even have an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius, so maybe they won’t be able to survive in cooler places like Antarctica, Russia, and Britain, but they will flourish in the tropical rainforests of places like the Congo, Southeast Asia, and South America, as there won’t be any shortage of sunlight and food for this giant.
Can They Be Alive Today?
So, based on the above facts, it could very well be possible that somehow these snakes managed to survive the coldest weather by living inside of the earth, hibernating, reproducing, and giving birth to their offspring, and they are living in solitude far from the eyes of humans in these tropical rainforests, most of which is still to be discovered.
Would Titanoboa Be a Threat to Mankind?
A snake even a few centimetres long can be a threat to humans, and here we are talking about a snake that is around a couple of meters long, so can Titanoboa be a threat to humankind if they were alive? Yes, they would’ve been one of the biggest threats humans have to face if they were to be alive.
A snake of his size can easily gobble up several humans for breakfast, which is quite scary because just a family of four could easily have a whole tribe for dinner, and maybe there will still be some room left.
But if they emerged today from some untouched hole in the ground, the damage they would do won’t be as great as compared to if they had never gone extinct. Now that humans have advanced, which wouldn’t have been possible if they had never gone extinct, a 50-foot snake is just a snake to us, and with advanced weapons, we could easily deal with it.
What Calamities Could They Unleash?
Thanks to movies like Anaconda, we all know what calamities a snake of this size could unleash; strangling a human to death is nothing for these monsters, and when angered, it could even destroy houses.
Nearest human civilizations either have to escape or live in highly secure surroundings and have to secure their houses with high-voltage electricity.
These snakes would become the most dangerous for the local tribes and villages, which are not that developed yet. And before any action could be taken, many would have lost their lives.
Can Titanoboa be Tamed by Humans and Kept as Pets?
There are several cases found where pet pythons and anacondas have attacked their owners, you might be able to keep them in your houses and treat them as your pet but you can’t make them forget their nature. Calling beasts like these pets is already stretched too far, but humans’ imagination has no bound, so the answer to this question is no, one can never be able to keep Titanoboa as their pet, and there are several reasons for this.
First, a Titanoboa is twice the size of an anaconda and can grow up to 50 ft and it would need a place according to that. Second, it needs about 400 kgs of food every day, and third, it would be impossible to tame them and quench their wild nature, so they’ll always be a danger of getting killed by them.
Besides if you want to keep a Titanoboa as a pet then you’ve to raise it since hatches from the egg, and nobody wants to go near a 50 ft monster so stealing its egg and raising its baby is out of the question. Destroying a house or two won’t be an issue for it.
Titanoboa was a species of snake that lived on earth 60 million years ago and went extinct around the same time. It was among the apex predators of its time that ruled the lands. The discovery of that giant snake in the Congo made many people believe that this snake is still alive and flourishing in the unexplored areas of the earth like the Amazon rainforest and other similar areas, although many scientists and researchers think otherwise. No one, however, can say this for sure.