Scientists discover almost 35 million years old rare snake fossil
Ecology & Environment, History & Culture14 May 2022| A-AA+
Scientists have reported spotting of the fossil of a Madtsoiidae snake from the molasse deposits of Ladakh Himalaya for the first time indicating their prevalence in the subcontinent for much longer time than previously thought.
Madtsoiidae is an extinct group of medium-sized to gigantic snakes, firstly appeared during the late Cretaceous and mostly distributed in the Gondwanan landmasses, although, their Cenozoic record is extremely scarce.
From the fossil record, the whole group disappeared in the mid-Paleogene across most Gondwanan continents except for Australia where it survived with its last known taxon Wonambi till late Pleistocene.
The occurrence of Madtsoiidae from the Oligocene of Ladakh indicates their continuity at least to the end of the Paleogene (geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous Period 66 million years ago).
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