Daily News Analysis


14th May, 2022 Environment

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  • Scientists have reported spotting of the fossil of a Madtsoiidae snake from the molasse deposits of Ladakh Himalaya for the first time indicating their prevalence in the subcontinent for much longer time than previously thought.



  • Madtsoiidae is an extinct group of medium-sized to gigantic snakes, firstly appeared during the late Cretaceous.
  • It is mostly distributed in the Gondwanan landmasses, although, their Cenozoic record is extremely scarce.
  • Madtsoiidae is an extinct family of mostly Gondwanan snakes with a fossil record extending from early Cenomanian (Upper Cretaceous) to late Pleistocene strata located in South America, Africa, India, Australia and Southern Europe.
  • Researchers have reported for the first time a Madtsoiidae snake from the late Oligocene (part of the Tertiary Period in the Cenozoic Era, and lasted from about 33.7 to 23.8 million years ago) of India or the molasse deposits of Ladakh Himalaya.
  • The occurrence of Madtsoiidae from the Oligocene of Ladakh indicates their continuity at least to the end of the Paleogene (geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous Period 66 million years ago).
  • The research shows that the members of this group were successful in this subcontinent for much longer time than previously thought.
  • The global climatic shifts and the prominent biotic reorganization across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (which correlates to the European Grande Coupure), did not cause the extinction of this important group of snakes in India.