There have been found the remainings of the first snakes to have ever lived on Earth, so far.
Scientists have discovered the fossils of four snakes which proved to have lived 70 million years earlier than the snakes discovered previously, which were believed to be the oldest.
The finding, offers indications on the evolution of the reptiles and divulged that the snakes living during the dinosaur age, might not have been much different from the present ones.
The fossils, are dating from 140 to 167 million years ago, and the fossils of the skulls, ribs, jaws and teeth have many similarities with the modern day snakes, like the malleable and sharp jaws, teeth pointed backwards, instruments to perfectly capture and devour their prey.
Researchers were surprised to note that snakes have suffered so little changes over such a lengthy period of time and that they were still so easily to being identified as snakes.
Scientists were expecting to come across something that had mutual attributes with modern snakes but had a different appearance, perhaps sharing resemblance with a chimera or some sort of monsters. For example, when you think about a bird living in the dinosaur age, the image that pop in your head is not the one of a duck from our days, explained professor Michael Caldwell, from the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta.
The older fossil was found in the South of England, while the largest one, was found in Portugal, under coal deposits and the snake was almost a metre larger than the remainings of the found fossil.
150 million years ago, England and Portugal were swampy coastal regions on expanded island conglomerates, in the sea of the Jurassic, which covered almost all the area that is currently Western and Central Europe. The only North American species found, was Diablophis gilmorei, and was discovered in the river deposits from the West of Colorado, proof that the creature arrived there from a marine habitat.
Professor Caldwell assumes that the snakes might have had four legs, even though there was no proof of them in the fossils.
The latest discovery might not have a final saying in how snakes have evolved. Some believe they have evolved from animals living underground, based on the fact that even today there are blind snakes that live under the ground. Professor Caldwell and his team, claimed that the snakes of today have evolved from four legged creatures, similar to lizards, which developed in the oceans and surfaced onto land.
Image Source: MailOnline
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