Never mind the snake that menaced Jennifer Lopez in the 1997 movie Anaconda. Not even Hollywood could match a new discovery from the ancient world.
Stunned scientists have found the fossilised remains of the world's greatest snake - a record-busting serpent that was as long as a bus and snacked on crocodiles.
The boa-like behemoth ruled the tropical rainforests of what is now Colombia some 60 million years ago, at a time when the world was far hotter than now, they report in a study released on Wednesday.
The size of the snake's vertebrae suggest the beast weighed about 1.135 tons, in a range of 730 kilograms to 2.03 tons.
And it measured 13 metres from nose to tail, in a range of 10.64-15 metres, they estimate.
"Truly enormous snakes really spark people's imagination, but reality has exceeded the fantasies of Hollywood," said Jonathan Block, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of Florida, who co-led the work.
"The snake that tried to eat Jennifer Lopez in the movie Anaconda is not as big as the one they found!!!"