Sunday, June 26, 2011


Named for an aboriginal deity sometimes called the Rainbow Serpent, the Wonambi was a massive snake that lived in Australia during the Pleistocene. Measuring as long as 20ft, the two species within the genus were formidable predators in their time.

Now keep in mind that Wonambi were not venomous. Though unrelated to our modern boas and pythons, the Wonambi ambushed and constricted its prey in much the same way. They used their powerful muscles to tighten around and strangle victims.

Wonambi went extinct around 40,000 years ago, and fossils have been found in Southern Australia. It is believed that aboriginal activities may have led to the decline of the large snake.

Status : Extinct for 40,000 years
Location : Australia
Size : Length up to 20ft (6m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Sauropsida -- Order : Squamata
Family : †Madtsoiidae -- Genus : Wonambi


  1. Interesting history. Were they classified as constrictors or something else?

  2. They are their own separate family of snakes, and all of its members are now extinct.

  3. Ironically, the Aboriginals killed off their God-figure into extinction.


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