In news–Scientists have recently reported spotting of the fossil of a Madtsoiidae snake from the molasse deposits of Ladakh Himalaya for the first time.
- As per recent discovery, Scientists have reported for the first time a Madtsoiidae snake from the late Oligocene ( part of the Tertiary Period in the Cenozoic Era, and lasted from about 33.7 to 23.8 million years ago) of India or the molasse deposits of Ladakh Himalaya.
- The occurrence of Madtsoiidae from the Oligocene of Ladakh indicates their continuity at least to the end of the Paleogene (geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous Period 66 million years ago).
- The research shows that the members of this group were successful in this subcontinent for much longer time than previously thought.
- The global climatic shifts and the prominent biotic reorganization across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (which correlates to the European Grande Coupure), did not cause the extinction of this important group of snakes in India.
About Madtsoiidae snake-
- Madtsoiidae is an extinct family of mostly Gondwanan snakes with a fossil record extending from early Cenomanian (Upper Cretaceous) to late Pleistocene strata located in South America, Africa, India, Australia and Southern Europe.
- Madtsoiidae include very primitive snakes, which like extant boas and pythons would likely dispatch their prey by constriction.
- Genera include Gigantophis, one of the longest snakes known, at an estimated 10.7 metres (35 ft), and the Australian Wonambi and Yurlunggur.
- As a grouping of basal forms the composition and even the validity of Madtsoiidae is in a state of flux as new pertinent finds are described.
- From the fossil record, the whole group disappeared in the mid-Paleogene across most Gondwanan continents except for Australia where it survived with its last known taxon Wonambi till late Pleistocene.
- The newly described specimen is housed in the repository of Wadia Institute, an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology.