Fossil Mystery: The Snake That Could Walk

Snakes Today as We Know them

Today, we are surrounded by thousands of different species, and several new ones that are discovered every other day but take a while to get classified and released officially. At the moment, there are more than 3,000 species of snake, some venomous and some not.
However, what you don’t expect to make the list, even among snakes that can swim, fly, etc., is the snake that could walk.
Oh yes, on the 16th of June this year, an article was accepted for publication in the Science journal detailing the fossil that was found in Brazil. The fossil was dated to be from the Early Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil.

The Find and the science world’s Reactions

You have to wonder when you find something like this if you are not really mistaken—maybe it could be a really long lizard. But, upon further examination, it was discovered that the remains are more serpentine the movement and body type than before. This finding suggests that snakes would have evolved not from marine creatures, but rather from burrowing ones.
A follow-up article was written with this discovery yesterday in Science mag as well. There, the writing goes into a bit more detail about the find, and how well-preserved it was for an early fossil.
However, what’s garnering attention isn’t the scientific research that’s been done thus far. No, instead it’s the past of the fossil that’s pulling in readers.

The Mysterious Circumstances of the Snake that could walk

According to the data provided by the team, the fossil came from northeastern Brazil, However, the question of when the fossil was unearthed is a pressing one, as well as how it ended up in the German museum today. Concerns such as this are important to get some sort of closure on, as in Brazil, it’s been illegal to export fossils since the forties.
However not all are concerned with the illegality of the situation. One of the authors remarked in the article that the discovery was more important, and other concerns not relevant to the study were immaterial.
So, we’ll just have to see what news the snake that could walk brings us, but also whether or not the past of its fossil is resolved.


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