Pictured are the ribs and vertebrae of Madtsoia bai,
or “Cow Valley [snake]” which lived about 55 million years ago, during
the Early Eocene. Some extinct snakes grew to remarkable size. This is a
section from the trunk of Madtsoia, a snake whose body would
have reached over 30 feet (9.2 meters) in length! In some extinct
snakes, small spurs near the tail are ancient remnants of the hind limbs
found in snake ancestors. This fossil is located in the Museum’s Hall of Vertebrate Origins.