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What is the News?
Scientists have reported spotting the fossil of a Madtsoiidae snake from the molasse deposits of Ladakh Himalaya for the first time indicating their prevalence in the subcontinent for a much longer time than previously thought.
What is Madtsoiidae Snake?
Madtsoiidae is an extinct group of medium-sized to gigantic snakes.
These snakes first appeared during the Late Cretaceous and were mostly distributed in the Gondwanan landmasses, although their Cenozoic record is extremely scarce.
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 the late Pleistocene.
What have the Scientists found about the Madtsoiidae Snake?
Scientists have found the fossils of a Madtsoiidae snake from the molasse deposits of Ladakh Himalaya.
These fossils belong to the late Oligocene (part of the Tertiary Period in the Cenozoic Era that lasted from about 33.7 to 23.8 million years ago).
Significance: This is the first time indicating the prevalence of this snake in the Indian subcontinent for a much longer time than previously thought.
Source: The post is based on the article “Scientists discover almost 35 million years old rare snake fossil from Ladakh Himalaya” published in PIB on 13th May 2022.