Fossils of a giant snake that lived 47 million years ago found in the jungles of India

By Jurassic JennMay 29, 2024 21:03 PMScience
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Fossils of a giant snake that lived 47 million years ago found in the jungles of India
Fossils of a giant snake that lived 47 million years ago found in the jungles of India. Source: www.businesstoday.in

Fossilized vertebrae of an ancient reptile found in western India have revealed the existence of a species of giant snakes that lived in India during the warm period of the Middle Eocene, about 47 million years ago. The body length of these giants in adulthood ranged from 11 to 15 meters.

This was reported by SSPDaily.

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee named this reptile species Vasuki indicus. They believe that these snakes could compete for the title of the largest snake in history with another reptile, Titanoboa, which became extinct about 58 million years ago.

Modern snakes, however, cannot compete with these relict animals as the largest living snake measured is only 7.67 meters long.

After studying the fossils of the reptile, the researchers attributed it to the extinct Madtsoiidae family. This snake had a wide cylindrical body and most likely did not like to spend time in water or in trees. Scientists assume that it was very slow and therefore ambushed its victims from where it attacked them. The modern anaconda, which is known for its large size, has similar behavior.

The researchers concluded that the relict lineage of Vasuki indicus appeared in India approximately 56-34 million years ago, and then spread to Europe and Africa.

The scientists note that their research will help to better understand the climate patterns of the past and the systematics and biogeography of the Madtsoiidae family.

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