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This Ancient Bug Within A Lizard Within A Snake Will Blow Your Mind!!

Fossils come in a wide variety of forms, from preserved bones to leftover (and sometimes enormous) footprints. Sometimes, though, they come in the form of a bug within a lizard within a snake, all perfectly preserved within a volcanic lake. 



About 48 million years ago, an ancestral iguana was having a rather wonderful day in prehistoric Germany. It had just managed to ingest a rather colorful insect, after all, and who doesn’t like a good lunch? However, little did this scuttling Geiseltaliellus maarius know that it just consumed its last meal. It was at this moment that a juvenile Palaeopython fischeri snake decided to strike. 

More related to modern boa than the python, this tree-dwelling snake slithered out from the shadows and pounced, managing to successfully gobble up both the lizard and its lunch. Sadly, it must have got lost on the way back to its arboreal residence, because it fell into the Messel Pit, a formerly active volcanic lake spewing out highly acidic sulfur dioxide, suffocating carbon dioxide. 

If anything became overwhelmed by these gasses, it would have likely stumbled into the broiling, bubbling, liquid haze, and sunk down into oxygen-poor waters. As described in the journal Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, this was how the story of the life of the snake, the lizard, and the bug ended.


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