A research team discovered a four-legged snake fossil from Brazil, the first of its kind ever found. The limbs were structured for grasping, rather than walking, indicating that the snake moved in a traditionally snake-like fashion but used its limbs for catching prey or mating.

The snake was adapted for burrowing, rather than swimming or tree-dwelling. This contributes to evidence that snakes evolved from a burrowing ancestor, rather than from a marine ancestor.

Paleontologist Dr. Bruno Simoes comments:

"All [the latest findings] suggest that the ancestor of all snakes was a terrestrial animal... which lived partially underground."


Thanks to Elliott Bannan for sending along this article!