A Snake in Amber : Now we can actually see a 99 million year old baby snake frozen in time; thanks to a walnut size nugget of amber found in Myanmar. This is the first known fossil remains of baby snake. The new species named Xiaophis myanmarensis. An international team of researchers reported in Journal Science Advances.
Amazingly this baby snake was hatched in Cretaceous period living side by side T-Rex and other Dinosaurs of cretaceous era, soon a huge bulb of amber fall on top of it from a nearby tree and this poor fellow preserved forever. The head of the snake is missing; not preserved in this amber, rest of the body of baby snake is only 5 cm long.
Who found Cretaceous Snake in amber?
Dr. Lida Xing a paleontologist and lead author of the paper was searching amber markets of Maynmar and one seller told him that this amber has crocodile skin trapped in it, when Dr. Lida examined the amber he soon realized it is a snake, so he quickly purchased it. He found that a shed skin of snake was trapped inside the amber. Pattern of visible on this preserved snake-skin.
Later he received a phone call from Chinese fossil collectors about snake in amber this was more extraordinary and exciting lead for him.
A Window in Cretaceous era
After studying these specimens a team of scientists concluded that snakes lived in forest environment; almost all other fossil records on snakes of the same period suggests an aquatic environment. Secondly researchers noted that many aspects of snake ontogeny have remained virtually unchanged for 100 million years, (trouble for Darwin’s Theory of Evolution)
These remarkable amber pieces gives us a sneak peek look into the cretaceous era, it looks that animals were more widely spread than previously thought.
“it’s spectacular to have a baby snake in the fossil record because, of course, they’d be such tiny, delicate things,” said Michael Caldwell, biology professor at the university of Alberta co-author of the paper.
Myanmar is proving itself a treasure of fossil from Cretaceous period (between 145 and 66 million years ago), apart from this snake in amber, recently a tail of a feathered dinosaur, an arachnid and a prehistoric frog was also discovered in that region.
Source : Journal Science Advances