Paleo reconstructions of three Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous snakes. Top left: Portugalophis lignites from Portugal; top right: Diablophis gilmorei from Colorado; bottom center: Parviraptor estesi from England (Artist’s reconstruction by Julius Csotonyi) Biology Paleontology 

Meet these 167 Million Year Old Snakes

Think of a snake and you might picture a legless reptile. There was, however, a time long ago when snakes had legs. Scientists have now determined that snakes began evolving their characteristic skulls, expandable jaws, and elongated bodies long before they lost their limbs. An international team of paleontologists has identified the fossilized remains of several ancient snakes that are, by far, the oldest ever found. The specimens, such as those pictured here, range from 140 to 167 million years old, making them nearly 70 million years older than any…

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