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48 million year old fossil , Beetle within a Lizard within a Snake

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posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 12:28 PM
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The extraordinary discovery was made by scientists who were examining a fossil from World Heritage site the Messel Pit in Argentina , they discovered that within the fossil of a snake was a lizard who had been its lunch and inside the lizard was a beetle who had also been lunch for the lizard , evidence of the food chain in action is extremely rare and this well preserved example has made some scientists very happy indeed.

Fossil of the snake.


Location of the lizard and beetle.


To top it off the scientist even identified both the snake and lizard's species but the beetle remains a mystery.

Smith and his colleague Agustín Scanferla from Argentina were able to identify both the snake and the lizard to the species level. Smith comments, "The fossil snake is a member of Palaeophython fischeri; the lizard belongs to Geiseltaliellus maarius, which has only been found at Messel to date."



"In the year 2009, we were able to recover a plate from the pit that shows an almost fully preserved snake," says Dr. Krister Smith of the Department for Messel Research at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, and he continues, "And as if this was not enough, we discovered a fossilized lizard inside the snake, which in turn contained a fossilized beetle in its innards!"


Fossil food chains are extremely rarely preserved; due to the excellent level of preservation at the fossil site, leaves and grapes from the stomach of a prehistoric horse, pollen grains in a bird's intestinal tract and remains of insects in fossilized fish excrements had previously been discovered at Messel. "However, until now, we had never found a tripartite food chain -- this is a first for Messel!" exclaims Smith elatedly. To this day, only one other example of such fossil preservation has been found worldwide -- in a 280-million-year-old shark.
www.sciencedaily.com...


Amazing.

edit on 7-9-2016 by gortex because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 12:30 PM
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a reply to: gortex

The historical value of that thing is of no calculable amount. Absolutely AMAZING find!! Thank you for sharing gortex

S & F



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 12:32 PM
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a reply to: gortex

They should chip it up into smaller pieces and sell them. I'd pay a few quid for a part of the inestimable history contained within.



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 12:34 PM
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48 million years ago ? Wow ....I wonder what made the snake die before it could digest it's food ?



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 12:35 PM
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That's amazing!

Thanks for sharing!

On a side note, looks like everyone had a bad day, the beetle, the lizard and the snake....



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 12:40 PM
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I think what is more astounding is the 48 million year tag. It looks like a modern snake skeleton. Now in 48 million years man is supposed to have evolved from primitive creatures, yet this snake has not evolved one iota.



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 12:46 PM
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48 million years and they look like today's lizard and snake...

Pretty neat find



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 12:55 PM
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This is the origin of the recipe for Turducken.

Harte



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 01:01 PM
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originally posted by: Harte
This is the origin of the recipe for Turducken.

Harte


LMAO ! Good point !!



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: gortex

I'ts a beelizake...similiar to the turducken of today..sounds scrumptious...



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: crayzeed

Animals/plants don't evolve unless they need to. Snakes have survived for the last 48 million years so obviously they've had no need to evolve.

Evidence of evolution not happening in one specific unnecessary instance is not proof that it never happens.

ETA: Also how do you know there hasn't been "one iota" of evolutionary change from this snake? Because it looks like a snake you'd see today? That doesn't mean it hasn't evolved in some way that you can't easily observe in a 48 million year old fossil.

Whatever the case, it's a really cool find. Thank you for sharing!

edit on 9/7/2016 by scojak because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 04:28 PM
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originally posted by: crayzeed
I think what is more astounding is the 48 million year tag. It looks like a modern snake skeleton. Now in 48 million years man is supposed to have evolved from primitive creatures, yet this snake has not evolved one iota.


Mainstream:


Based on comparative anatomy, there is consensus that snakes descended from lizards.[16]:11[17] Pythons and boas—primitive groups among modern snakes—have vestigial hind limbs: tiny, clawed digits known as anal spurs, which are used to grasp during mating.[16]:11[18] The families Leptotyphlopidae and Typhlopidae also possess remnants of the pelvic girdle, appearing as horny projections when visible.

Front limbs are nonexistent in all known snakes. This is caused by the evolution of Hox genes, controlling limb morphogenesis. The axial skeleton of the snakes’ common ancestor, like most other tetrapods, had regional specializations consisting of cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), lumbar (lower back), sacral (pelvic), and caudal (tail) vertebrae. Early in snake evolution, the Hox gene expression in the axial skeleton responsible for the development of the thorax became dominant. As a result, the vertebrae anterior to the hindlimb buds (when present) all have the same thoracic-like identity (except from the atlas, axis, and 1–3 neck vertebrae). In other words, most of a snake's skeleton is an extremely extended thorax.
Source

Turns out not necessarily so:


"Our findings turn the sequence of evolutionary events on its head," Polly added, suggesting a new theory. "It isn't that snakes have lost regions and Hox expression; it is that mammals and birds have independently gained distinct regions by augmenting the ordinary Hox expression shared by early amniotes."
Source

48 million years is a short time for some. The Horseshoe Crab has existed as a species for almost ten times as long without any evolutionary change.

Harte



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 05:09 PM
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and which ancient or lost civilisation did this discovery inhabit ?




posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Also , within the Beetle , a possible Extinct Virus that after numerous Mutations over Million's of Years , could have been the Smoking Gun in connection to the Extinction of All Dinosaur Species . Hmm...



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 05:40 PM
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originally posted by: Harte
This is the origin of the recipe for Turducken.

Harte


I just can't bring myself to eat something whose name begins with "turd".

RE: the OP....pretty interesting find. As mentioned, they look like todays snakes and lizards. While I have no idea the "why", its remarkable how various shapes/configurations of animal (and plant, for that matter) are reused or seem to crop up repeatedly. The triceratops and the rhino, to spitball one example.

Although we don't have many animals with big, clubbed, killer tails nowadays. Thankfully.



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 06:28 PM
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Damn Insect hiding in there!!!



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 08:45 PM
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I am pretty sure they have evolved .. Trump/Hilly And the snake Overlord.



posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 09:00 PM
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That is an amazing find.

Please tell me I was not the only person that thought hey if there was a human skeleton we may have found the root of the "I know an old woman who swallowed a fly" song.




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