Discover the oldest solid fossil

Excavators excavated the oldest solid fossil, dating to about 167 million years old, help to understand the evolution of this species.

Picture 1 of Discover the oldest solid fossil
Some fossils of snake jaws dating to 167 million years.(Photo: Michael Caldwell)

The research team from the University of Alberta, Canada, unearthed fossil remains of four snakes. They appear about 70 million years earlier than the oldest solid fossils ever discovered. The discovery shows that snakes existed 167 million years ago, the same time as the lizards and dinosaurs.

Skulls, jaws, ribs and fossil teeth have many similar characteristics to snakes today. The oldest solid fossil belonging to the species Eophis underwoodi , was excavated in southern England. The largest fossil, the species of Portugalophis lignites, is derived from a coal mine in Portugal.

150 million years ago, England and Portugal were coastal swamp areas on the Jurassic coastline chain, covering most of western and central Europe today. Through the location of fossil detection, scientists think they come from the marine environment.

"This is very likely to happen, just like many other animals now move around the planet by swimming. Almost all snakes today live comfortably in a water environment , " CBSNews said. research author Michael Caldwell said.