Last Updated on May 14, 2022 at 1:20 pm

One of the rare snake fossils has been reportedly discovered in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. Scientists have reported sighting the fossil of Madtsoiidae snake in the Himalayan Mountains in Ladakh. Madtsoiidae is a medium sized to gigantic snakes which have extinct and appeared first in Cretaceous period that began 145 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago. They are thought to grow up to 30 feet in length.

From the fossil record, the whole group disappeared in the mid-Paleogene across most Gondwanan continents except for Australia where it survived with its last known taxon Wonambi till late Pleistocene.

Discovery by scientists gives a sign that their prevalence in the Indian subcontinent for a much longer time than previously thought. Also, global climatic shifts and the prominent biotic reorganisation across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary did not cause the extinction of this important group of snakes in India.

Dr. Ningthoujam Premjit Singh (corresponding author), Dr. Ramesh Kumar Sehgal, and Abhishek Pratap Singh from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, India in association with Dr. Rajeev Patnaik and Wasim Abass Wazir from Panjab University Chandigarh; Dr. Navin Kumar and Piyush Uniyal from Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, and Dr. Andrej Èeròanský of Comenius University Slovakia have reported for the first time a Madtsoiidae snake from the late Oligocene ( part of the Tertiary Period in the Cenozoic Era, and lasted from about 33.7 to 23.8 million years ago) of India or the molasse deposits of Ladakh Himalaya.

The newly described specimen is housed in the repository of Wadia Institute, an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology.

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