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The World Record for the Earliest Snake

Snakes evolved from lizard-like ancestors and are believed to have appeared for the first time during the early Cretaceous period, perhaps 120 million years ago. The oldest snake fossils were found in Algeria, in deposits about 100 million years old, although they consist of little more than a few damaged vertebrae. The oldest complete snake fossil, found in the Middle East in deposits about 94-96 million years old, measured about 1m (3ft 4in) long and belonged to a species called Paryachis problematicus; however, some experts still question whether this was a very elongated lizard (it had minimal back legs) or a primitive snake.