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Four-legged snake fossil found

Press/Media: Research


An “absolutely exquisite” fossil of a snake that had four legs has been discovered by a team of scientists and may help show how snakes made the transition from lizards to serpents.

It is the first known fossil of a four-legged snake, and the team – led by Dr Dave Martill from the University of Portsmouth – say that this discovery could help scientists to understand how snakes lost their legs. The findings are published in the journal Science.

The fossil, from Brazil, dates from the Cretaceous period and is 110 million years old, making it the oldest definitive snake. Dr Martill discovered the fossil as part of a routine field trip with students to the prestigious Museum Solnhofen in Germany.


Period23 Jul 2015 → 11 Nov 2016


TitleUpdate: Controversial ‘four-legged snake’ may be ancient lizard instead
Media name/outletOnline
Media typeWeb
Producer/AuthorCarolyn Gramling
PersonsDavid Martill
TitleNEWS Famous ‘Four-Legged Snake’ May Really Be Dino-Era Lizard
Media name/outletOnline
Media typeWeb
Duration/Length/SizeNational Geographic
Producer/AuthorMichael Greshko
PersonsDavid Martill
TitleFour-legged snake fossil found
Duration/Length/SizeUoP News
Producer/AuthorPress Office
PersonsDavid Martill

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