Titanoboa, monstrous prehistoric snake, replica on display at Smithsonian

Fossils of the Titanoboa, which is pictured in this rendering, were found in Colombia several years ago. (Photo: Smithsonian Institution)

WASHINGTON (AP) - A prehistoric monster snake the length of a school bus has made its way to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

The National Museum of Natural History is opening an exhibit featuring a life-size replica of Titanoboa - pronounced "ty-tan-uh-BOH-ah" - on Friday. The fossil of the world's largest snake was found several years ago in a coal mine in Colombia.

When it was alive, the snake weighed 2,500 pounds and was 48 feet long. It was found near fossilized plants, giant turtles and other creatures dating to more than 60 million years ago.

The exhibit will be on view in Washington through Jan. 6, 2013. Then it will begin a tour of museums across the country.

On Sunday, the Smithsonian Channel debuts a new documentary about the discovery, "Titanoboa: Monster Snake."