Fossils of colossal prehistoric snake named Vasuki unearthed in India

India has unveiled the world’s largest prehistoric snake that was longer than a large school bus and roamed the planet 60 million years ago.

Palaeontologists found 27 fossil vertebrae of Vasuki indicus in a coalmine in the western state of Gujarat and used the well-preserved pieces to calculate the length of the colossus creature to be between 10.9 and 15.2 metres (49.86 feet).

Palaeontologist Sunil Bajpai conceded the astonishing discovery in 2005 from Kutch district’s Panandhro mines remained ignored until 2023 when he opened an investigation into the fossilised vertebrae, each larger than a balled fist of a fully grown man.

“We were distracted by other projects and so this got ignored but last July, I and [associate] Debajit Dutta started the research study and finished it after six months of hard work,” Bajpai told ANI news service, surrounded by blackened pieces of the snake’s spine.

Super Serpent

Despite its size, the longest snake that ever existed would have looked like a large python and would not have been venomous said Bajpai from the department of earth sciences of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

The 42.6-foot long Titanoboa that lived in Colombia before it went into extinction 60 million years ago has, to date, been the closest to India’sVasuki.

Vasuki lived in the coastal marshland at a time when global temperatures were higher than today, added Debajit Datta, co-researcher and lead author of a study he published last week.

The IIT scientists said their find opened a rare window into the priceless world of herpetology.

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