The world’s oldest python fossil unearthed

Scientists have discovered fossils of the oldest Python on record, a slippery beast that lived 48 million years ago in what is now Germany.

Found near an ancient lake, the snake’s remains help researchers discover where pythons came from. Previously, it was not clear whether pythons originated from continents in the Southern Hemisphere, where they now live, or from the Northern Hemisphere, where their closest living relatives (the sunburst snakes of Southeast Asia and the Mexican burrowing python) are found. But this newfound species – dubbed Messelopython freyi – suggests that pythons have evolved in Europe.