Snake versus sauropod

Modern snakes raid nests all the time, looking to make a meal of everything from bird and reptile eggs to baby rodents. It looks like they’ve been doing this for a while, if this fossil of a snake raiding a dinosaur nest is any indication. The 3.5-metre snake, a newly described species called Sanajeh indicus, was raiding a titanosaur nest 67 million years ago. Being sauropod dinosaurs, titanosaurs were quite large (some exceeded 100 tons), but the fossil titanosaur hatchling is only half a metre long, and quite manageable for a snake of Sanajeh’s size. The fossil was originally unearthed in 1984, but it was only later that the snake’s skeleton was identified for what it was — an intruder! — rather than more bones from a long-necked sauropod. (The article also discusses Sanajeh’s place in snake evolution, particularly in terms of the development of wide gapes.) Summary at New Scientist; via Clint.

Previously: Titanoboa, terror of the Eocene.