Periergophis and Paraxenophis: Two Six-Million-Year Old New Species of Snakes Found in Greece

(Photo by ANA)

The fossilized remains of two new species of snakes that have never been found in any part of the world before have been discovered near the city of Serres in northern Greece. The Greek researcher who found the two fossils, dated 5.5 to 6.0 million years old, has named them Periergophis micros and Paraxenophis spanios.

“These two new snakes have new names because they belong to a totally new species and are completely different from any other species. The strange thing is that such vertebral anatomy has not been observed anywhere else and there is nothing, either in modern or in extinct serpent species, that even comes close to the morphology of these new species,” paleontologist Dr. Giorgos Georgalis (University of Toronto) said to the Athens-Maceonian News Agency. Georgalis has published a scientific paper on the discovery, in collaboration with other scientists from German, Swiss and Czech Republic Universities.

As he explained, these serpents “are so unique that we find it difficult to include them in any known family and we immediately understand that they belong to a new species” (https://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2019/2797-fossil-herpetofauna-maramena).

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