Snake Caught Attacking Dinosaur—First Fossil Proof
Hunter and hunted were frozen in time at key moment.
Found in India, the well-preserved dinosaur-nest scene boasts several fossils: a nearly complete snake, a newly emerged dinosaur, and two unhatched eggs—all apparently part of a spine-tingling tale.
One stormy day 67 million years ago, the 11.5-foot (3.5 meter) snake apparently slithered into the unguarded dinosaur nest. The snake had spotted a 1.6-foot-long (half-meter-long) dinosaur struggling out of its eggshell, scientists speculate.
The snake curled up next to the hatchling and was preparing to attack when heavy rains likely sent mud surging out of a nearby channel—smothering both snake and prey, according to the new study, to be published in this week's issue of the journal PLoS Biology.
(Related: "Venomous Dinosaur Discovered—Shocked Prey Like Snake?")
The snake's interrupted meal offers a