Were early snakes sea creatures? New fossil raises debate

najash rionegrina discovered

A newly found fossil could be the most primitive snake ever unearthed. The fossils of the legged snake with ‘hips’ have kicked up debates among scientists on the evolution of snakes, as the new finding suggests early snakes were not sea creatures.

The snake fossil is discovered in a terrestrial deposit of the Rio Negro province, north of Patagonia, Argentina, in 2003. It is named Najash rionegrina, and has a well-defined sacrum that supports a pelvis and functional hind legs outside of its ribcage.

Hussam Zaher, curator of herpetology at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, and part of the research team informs,
This snake is an important addition because it is the first snake with a sacrum. This represents an intermediate morphology that has never before been seen.

Via: New Scientist

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