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Early Life Roundup

March 5, 2010

A giant ancient snake feasted upon crocodiles.

Transcript

Life from a cauldron. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The origin of life on earth is the biggest mystery that biologists face. Some theories involve amino acids forming and combining in early seas and ponds. But scientists report in the journal BioEssays that boiling hot deep sea vents are a more likely cradle of life. They say these vents produce the needed energy, and chemical processes associated with the vents resemble processes seen in modern cells.

In other prehistoric news, paleontologists studying the remains of a forty-five long ancient snake called Titanoboa report finding the remains of crocodiles the snake seems to have dined upon. While modern snakes are often eaten by crocs, this extinct variety of crocodile grew to a length of only six or seven feet—a nice morsel for the gargantuan snakes. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.