This fossil is from the spine of a sea snake that lived 55 million years ago. This specimen is from a species in the genus Palaeophis, which means “ancient snake”.
There is relatively little known about ancient sea snakes compared to other well-studied creatures of the Paleogene, likely due to the rarity of the fossils. This fossil was discovered in Morocco.
At least one species of sea snake could grow up to 40 ft (12 m) long, a far cry from the largest present-day sea snake at 10 ft (3 m). As their name implies, they were likely aquatic animals, as their fossils are mostly found in marine strata. It is unclear whether these sea snakes were venomous like all modern sea snakes are.
Includes 2 vertebrae fossils, ~0.25–0.5", displayed in an acrylic capsule.
Photos are representative of typical specimens. Some natural variation in size/shape should be expected.