Meet Vasuki Indicus, A Fossilised Snake Longer Than T-Rex, Discovered In Gujarat

IT News Desk
IT News Desk
Updated on Apr 19, 2024, 10:48 IST- 2 min read
Indiatimes

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee have claimed that fossils recovered from a mine in Kutch,?Gujarat?may have belonged to the spine of one of the?largest?snakes?to ever have?lived.?The fossil remains of?'Vasuki?Indicus' were found in the Panandhro Lignite Mine in?Kutch?in 2005.

Meet Vasuki Indicus, A Fossilised Snake Longer Than T-Rex, Discovered In Gujarat REUTERS

Fossil mostly preserved?

Researchers had found 27 "mostly well-preserved" bones forming the snake's spinal column, or vertebra, with some connections still intact.?

It has been named?after Vasuki, the mythical snake around the neck of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva.?

Largest snake ever

In a new study published in the journal, Scientific Reports, IIT Roorkee researchers said that remains belonged to a snake from the now extinct?madtsoiidae?family. The?madtsoiidae?snake family is known to have lived across a broad geography, including Africa, Europe?and?India.

Meet Vasuki Indicus, A Fossilised Snake Longer Than T-Rex, Discovered In Gujarat REUTERS

According to them, Vasuki?Indicus could have been roughly 11 and 15?metres?long, making it the largest known madtsoiid snake ever.

The vertebrae, measuring between 38 and 62 millimeters in length, and between 62 and 111?millimetres?in width, suggested Vasuki?Indicus?to possibly have had a broad, cylindrical body, the researchers said.

Slow-moving predator?

They believe that Vasuki?Indicus's large size may have made it a slow-moving ambush predator, similar to an anaconda.

“Considering its large size, Vasuki was a slow-moving ambush predator that would subdue its prey through constriction like anacondas and pythons. This snake lived in a marshy swamp near the coast at a time when global temperatures were higher than today,” said Debajit Datta, a researcher in?palaeontology?at the IIT Roorkee and the lead author of the study.

Meet Vasuki Indicus, A Fossilised Snake Longer Than T-Rex, Discovered In Gujarat REUTERS

The researchers said the snake represented a "distinct lineage" originating in India which then spread via southern Europe to Africa during the Eocene, about 56 to 34 million years ago. The first ancestors and close relatives of the modern mammal species are said to have appeared in the Eocene period.

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