Prehistoric Earth Wiki
Advertisement

A model of Sanajeh in a sauropod nest

Sanajeh ("ancient gape" in Sanskrit[1]) is a madtsoiid snake from the Late Cretaceous of India.

Description[]

Based on the length of its skull (95 mm), Sanajeh may have measured 3.5 meters in length from head to tail. Its vertebrae have well-developed articulations, which is a common feature of all madtsoiid snakes.[2]

Classification[]

Sanajeh is a member of the family Madtsoiidae, which also includes two Australian genera of extinct snake that lived in the Cenozoic. Below is a cladogram based on the 2010 description of Sanajeh showing its relationship with other snakes:[3]

Serpentes 

Scolecophidia



Najash rionegrina




Dinilysia patagonica


 Alethinophidia 


Anilius




Cylindrophis




Uropeltinae



Anomochilus






 Madtsoiidae 

Sanajeh indicus




Wonambi



Yurlunggur






Loxocemus


 Macrostomata 

Pachyophiidae





Ungaliophinae




Erycinae




Pythonidae



Boinae







Bolyeriidae




Tropidophiinae




Acrochordus



Colubroidea












Discovery[]

The skull, jaws, and vertebrae of Sanajeh were discovered in rocks of the Maastrichian-age Lameta Formation in Gujarat, India. The fossils were described in 2010.[3]

Paleobiology[]

Diet[]

Sanajeh was found preserved next to a clutch of eggs from a sauropod dinosaur, and coiled next to a crushed egg. The snake was probably preying on the clutch and eating the hatchling dinosaurs.[3]

References[]

  1. Yong, Ed (2010). "Sanajeh, the snake that ate baby dinosaurs".
  2. Scanlon, J.D. (2006). "Skull of the large non-macrostomatan snake Yurlunggur from the Australian Oligo-Miocene". Nature 439 (7078): 839–842. doi:10.1038/nature04137. PMID 16482156.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wilson, J.A.; Mohabey, D.M.; Peters, S.E.; and Head, J.J. (2010). "Predation upon Hatchling Dinosaurs by a New Snake from the Late Cretaceous of India". In Benton, Michael J. PLoS Biology 8 (3): e1000322. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000322. PMC 2830453. PMID 20209142.
Advertisement