Discovery of a giant snake, the largest of all time?

Published by Adrien - 26 days ago - Other Languages: FR, DE, ES, PT
Source: Scientific Reports

A team of scientists in India has unearthed the fossilized remains of a gigantic snake, which could potentially be the largest snake ever discovered. This snake measured possibly up to 49 feet (15 meters) long. Species name: Vasuki Indicus.

These remains were discovered at the Panandhro lignite mine in the state of Gujarat. The 27 fossil vertebrae found date back about 47 million years, a period known as the Eocene. Scientists estimate that these bones belonged to an adult of this species.

The researchers used the width of the vertebrae to estimate the size of the animal, suggesting that it measured between 36 feet and 49 feet long (11 to 15 meters). However, they admit that this estimate could contain errors. Their findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The team indicates that V. indicus belongs to the Madtsoiidae, an extinct family distantly related to pythons and anacondas. By examining the attachment points of the ribs on the vertebrae, researchers deduce that V. indicus had a broad, cylindrical body and lived primarily on land, unlike aquatic snakes which have flatter bodies.

Due to its impressive size, the snake was likely an ambush predator that immobilized its prey by constriction, similar to modern anacondas. The researchers believe it lived in a warm climate, with an average temperature of about 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius).

Many mysteries still surround Vasuki. The muscles of the snake as well as its diet remain unknown. The team hopes to learn more through analyses of the carbon and oxygen content of the fossils.
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