The Biggest Snake in the World

When the editor from Smithsonian Magazine contacted me with a rush job, they had tried photography of a scale model of the largest snake in the world. But it just did not look real or threatening enough. A tropical snake, related to modern boas and anacondas, Titanoboa was large enough to first crush, then swallow the giant crocodiles of the day, only a couple million years after the disappearance of the Dinosaurs, 60 million years ago.

Their layout called for a close-up to avoid any scientific controversy about the details of this prehistoric snake, reconstructed from a few fossilized bones in a fossil-rich coal mine in Columbia. They wanted to focus on the eye, and the emotion generated by the image of a snake as long as a bus.

I decided to add menace by placing the Titanoboa in the water, it's probable environment. The close-up direction seemed to only enhance it's mystery and horror. I used reference material of boas and anacondas, but since so little was known for sure about this giant snake, I was free to engage in a little informed fantasizing.

Titanoboa, tha largest snake in the world.

Titanoboa, by Paul Mirocha for Smithsonian Magazine

1 Comment

  1. lolidk
    January 8, 2013

    omg idk if its true but i do like turtles 😀


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