From a Colombian coal mine 60 million years deep, scientists uncovered remains of the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa cerrejonensis. Measuring 48 feet long and weighing in at 2,500 pounds, this massive predator could crush and devour a crocodile…and he’s coming to Fruita! Museums of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey will host Titanoboa: Monster Snake, presented by the Smithsonian Institution, May 19 through August 5. The exhibition is traveling to 15 cities on a national tour with a full-scale model of Titanoboa and paleontological evidence that delves into the discovery, reconstruction and implications of this enormous reptile. The exhibition results from a collaboration of Florida Museum of Natural History, the University of Nebraska and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and has been organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Titanoboa is being brought to Dinosaur Journey through local sponsorship by U.S. Bank, FCI Constructors Inc., and Chadwick, Steinkirchner, Davis & Co, PC.

“The discovery of Titanoboa, and its announcement in 2009, captured the world’s imagination. This exhibition by Smithsonian has brought that sense of wonder and amazement to life,” says Dr. Julia McHugh, Curator of Paleontology for Museums of Western Colorado. “Titanoboa is the largest snake ever to have lived on Earth – it’s longer than a T. rex, and that’s pretty amazing!” “The Museums of Western Colorado is honored to host a Smithsonian exhibition in the Grand Valley,” says Executive Director Peter Booth, while McHugh adds, “Most of the Smithsonian traveling exhibits are logistically difficult to bring to Dinosaur Journey or Museum of the West. But, with Titanoboa’s smaller footprint – and big impact – we are able to showcase this high-quality exhibition right here on the Western Slope.”

Florida Museum of Natural History vertebrate paleontologist Jonathan Bloch shows the size difference between vertebrae belonging to the giant snake Titanoboa cerrejonensis, left, and an anaconda, right. Based on the diameter of the fossilized Titanoboa vertebrae, researchers estimate that Titanoboa, which lived 60 million years ago, probably grew 48 feet long. The anaconda measured a relatively short 17 feet long. Photo by Jeff Gage, Florida Museum of Natural History

Titanoboa: Monster Snake opens to the public on Friday, May 19 at 9 a.m. “And, in recognition of National Museums Month in May, that will be a free day at Dinosaur Journey – provided by Alpine Bank – to make sure everyone has the opportunity to experience Titanoboa,” says Booth.

The Smithsonian Channel documentary Titanoboa: Monster Snake will be shown at Dinosaur Journey throughout the tenure of the exhibition and is included with museum admission. The 53- minute film follows scientists to the mines, into the labs and on an expedition that delves into the life  of this enormous reptile: How did it live? What did it eat? And how did is grow this big?

Dinosaur Journey is located in Fruita, just south off of I-70. The museum is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. for the duration of the Titanoboa exhibit. For further information: or Dinosaur Journey, 970-858-7282.

cover photo: The Smithsonian traveling exhibition “Titanoboa: Monster Snake” features a full-scale model and will travel to museums across the country on a 15-city tour. Photo by James Di Loreto, Smithsonian Institution