Mar
02
2010

Unusual fossil reveals snake preying on baby dinosaur

Frozen in time: Unique fossil shows snake coiled among nest of dinosaur eggs and titanosaur hatchling.
Frozen in time: Unique fossil shows snake coiled among nest of dinosaur eggs and titanosaur hatchling.Courtesy PLoS Biology
Diagram of fossil
Diagram of fossilCourtesy PLoS Biology
Check out this amazing fossil showing the remains of a snake coiled around a nest of dinosaur eggs, including a nearby titanosaur hatchling. The fossil was found 26 years ago in northwestern India, and was originally thought to contain remains of eggs and baby dinosaur bones. But recent re-evalutions revealed some of the bones were actually those of a new species of snake named Sanajeh indicus. The incredible 67 million-year-old fossil is the first of its kind, and suggests that snakes preyed on dinosaurs, just as they prey on birds today. A newly hatched titanosaur would have been easy pickings for the 11.5 foot S. indicus, but an adult titanosaur - which grew to more than 100 feet in length - would have been another story. Scientists think the unique Cretaceous fossil resulted from an ancient landslide that buried the snake just when it was about to go after its next meal. Here's a photo of the incredible fossil and along with a diagram of what it contains. You can read the whole story at PLoS Biology where the research has been published.

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