back to article Monster croc 'the BALROG' tussles with mighty Titanoboa snake

A mighty ancient croc that battled monster snakes has been named after the mythical creature of the deep that was nearly Gandalf the Grey’s downfall – the Balrog. Titanboa constricts Anthracosuchus balrogus croc Titanboa constricts Anthracosuchus balrogus croc (Credit: Smithsonian Channel) Just as the Balrog rose up from …


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  1. GreggS

    Are you sure

    That's not just a still from this film?

    1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: Are you sure

      Wow! Just, wow!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you sure

      Mega-Python and Gatoroid? Tiffany and Debbie Gibson? Which of them played which?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Are you sure

        I think that movie, and Lake Placid, spoiled me as I'm utterly unimpressed by a 16 ft long 900 lb croc. When I read "monster croc" I was thinking there might be some 40 foot beast in prehistoric times. That would be a reasonable size considering how big some of the other megafauna used to be.

        1. Scroticus Canis

          Re: Are you sure @ DougS

          This boy should do the trick - Sarcosuchus, estimated up to 36–39 feet long and < 8 tons; however from an earlier period, 112 mya.

      2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: Which of them played which?

        My thoughts exactly.

  2. 0laf Silver badge

    This Balrog seems a bit of a tiddler compared to a current salt water croc at 22 feet and 4000lbs.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Indeed its more of a troll at best.

    2. Marvin the Martian

      "current" at 4000lbs?

      2000lbs would be nearer the mark, or have you found some obese merrikan saltie? Longest croc in captivity (read: 'not made up in tall tale') was 20ft 3in "Lolong", at 2300 lbs. And being well-fed & under-exercised (='captivity'), I struggle to believe 2 extra feet will double the weight.

      E.g. a 7.5m Anaconda's preserved skin has been stretched to 10+m --- so you need either verified live measurements or a full skeleton; skin isn't that trustworthy and stories even less. I'm a bit mystified by the Titanoboa's measurements, at 12m & 1200kg --- heaviest extant snakes (green anacondas) reaching only about 100kg for 8m (pythons longer but skinnier), so upscaling that shape by 50% (weight x 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 for 3D = about 340kg) doesn't get you nearly there... The main scaling issue is that muscle force scales as second order (=diameter of muscles) while weight as third order, so you have insects on hair-thin legs but elephants on massive pillars. These muscles then all need massive organs to supply them, and these oversized organs need extra muscles (and internal strength/skeleton to keep them from being crushed) to support.

      Long story short, if you're near the limits of what is physiologically possible to survive, you need to eat smaller prey to not cross the line (destroy yourself by sudden movements, e.g. when defending yourself) --- and you'd still be a sitting duck with your stomach full (which pythons often are).

      1. Alan Edwards

        Re: "current" at 4000lbs?

        2000 lbs?! That's over a tonne, about the same as my car!

        1. Scroticus Canis

          Re: "2000 lbs?! That's over a tonne, about the same as my car"

          A ton is 2,240lbs, 2,000lbs is a short ton and tonne is 1,000kg (2,205lbs) also know as Metric Ton. So how is 2,000lbs over a ton?

          Edjukation snot wot it uzed 2 bee nowadaze!

          1. lost

            Re: "2000 lbs?! That's over a tonne, about the same as my car"

            1 ton = 2000lbs. 1 metric ton = 2204.62 lbs or 1000kg. I do not know where you are getting a ton being equal to 2240lbs

  3. Shaha Alam


    tnetennba, surely.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So a bit like the video I saw the other day of a large constricter chowing down on a croc. Looks like not much has changed in the last however many years then after all.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      > Looks like not much has changed in the last however many years then after all.

      Shhhhh! You can't go around saying evolution seems to be missing. That's statistically untenable.

      Kudos to the authors for squeezing climate change into the discussion.

    2. Alan Edwards

      > Looks like not much has changed in the last however many years then after all.

      It can already eat a crocodile, how much more evolving does it need :-)

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Coming to a sewer near you!

    Watch where you sit when you go to the restroom!

    On the other hand, the picture doesnt reflect a battle so much as a snake making a handbag out of a croc.

  6. Big-nosed Pengie

    ...about 16 feet long and weighed in at 900 pounds

    But what's that in football fields?

    1. DocJames

      Re: ...about 16 feet long and weighed in at 900 pounds

      Pounds don't convert to football fields. The football related unit you're looking for is the "Wayne Rooney week", and 900 pounds is approx 0.0033 WR-weeks

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tune in my head right now..

    Ain't nobody messing with my crock,

    Crock crock crock crock

  8. David Glasgow

    What's the difference between

    A crocodilian and a crocodyliform?

    1. Scroticus Canis

      Re: What's the difference between

      Mainly the spelling, former is traditional while the later is now the preferred name for the clade distinctions.

  9. Denarius Silver badge

    so its fossilised then ?

    Step up Sir Elton with the new release of Crocodile Rock

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