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Fossil snake from Gujarat, India


KOLKATA: A fossilised snake, stated to be about 70 million year old, the
world's oldest, was recently discovered by Geological Survey of India (GSI)
scientists in Gujarat's Kheda district. 

The well preserved specimen not only represents the oldest snake in the
world but enhances the knowledge on its origin and evolution, GSI sources
said on the eve of the 42nd annual meeting of the Central Geological
Programming Board in Delhi. 

Its occurrence in association with sauropod dinosaurian egg and hatchings,
provides a unique evidence of predation of Mesozoic snakes on dinosaur eggs,
they said.


My comment: more information eagerly awaited, but it's hard to see how the
story could be wholly accurate because there are snake fossils from the late
Albian (~100 Ma); nor could it be a lapse for the 'oldest relatively
complete snake' (if it is one) because there are quite a few of those from
the Cenomanian. Perhaps, in India, it's hard to resist claiming the world's
oldest example of just about everything?
And the evidence of predation on dinosaur eggs? I'd like to see that, but
won't be holding my breath.

Dr John D. Scanlon, FCD
Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Outback at Isa
19 Marian Street / PO Box 1094
Mount Isa  QLD  4825
Ph:   07 4749 1555
Fax: 07 4743 6296
Email: riversleigh@outbackatisa.com.au