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Giant Snake Slithers into New York

Giant Snake Slithers into New York

Giant Snake Slithers into New York Mark Von Holden/Smithsonian Channel

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48-foot replica of prehistoric snake showcased in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall.

Don't look now but another snake is on the loose in New York City, but this one didn't escape from the Bronx Zoo.

The Smithsonian Channel brought a 48-foot long replica of the Titanoboa to Grand Central Terminal this morning. The sight of what some paleontologists call the "T-Rex of Snakes" gave sleepy commuters a fright. "I'm glad to know they're not here now, because I don't know where we would be if they were still around" said Jennifer Estevez. When asked if she could imagine one of the snakes crawling around the city's sewer system she responded "I don't think we would have sewers if this was alive."

The Titanoboa was created with information gathered from fossils discovered in Colombian mine in 2009. Researches say they didn't even know what they discovered until they brought the fossils back to the lab. It was only then when they realized they were looking at the remains of a snake the size of a school bus.

Jonathan Bloch, a vertebrate paleontologist from the University of Florida said the discovery was truly a gift, "When you are a collector esentially, a collector of things, a collector of music, a collector of fossils, a collector of books, you know, these kinds of incredibly rare discoveries, once in a lifetime discoveries, they don't happen very often and it's really what keeps you going."

The replica's appearance at Grand Central promotes the Smithsonian Institute's exhibition of the snake at the end of the month. It'll be on view through Friday before moving to it's new home in Washington DC. "Titanoboa: Monster Snake", a two hour television special will be airing on the Smithsonian Channel on April 1st. You can watch the trailer below.

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