Fossils of Two Unknown Ancient Snake Species Discovered in Northern Greece



The fossils. Credit: AMNA

The fossilized remains of two new species of snakes which have never before been found in any part of the world, were discovered recently near the city of Serres in Central Macedonia, Northern Greece.

The Greek researcher who discovered the two fossils, which have been dated at 5.5 to 6.0 million years of age, has given them the names of ”Periergophis micros” and ”Paraxenophis spanios.”

The first name is Greek for ”small strange snake” and the second is Greek for ”rare peculiar snake.”

“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. Georgios Georgalis from the University of Toronto told the state-run AMNA news agency.

Georgalis has now published a scientific paper on the discovery, in collaboration with other scientists from a number of German, Swiss and Czech universities.

As he explained, these newly-discovered 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.”