'Winged' snake species from 5 million years ago discovered in Tennessee

Published: May. 22, 2017 at 9:08 PM EDT
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A new species of snake that lived roughly 5 million years ago has been discovered at a fossil site in Tennessee.

A study published in the Journal of Herpetology says the snake has been named Zilantophis schuberti, which roughly translates to “Schubert’s Winged Snake.”

The snake is named in part after Blaine Schubert, the executive direct of the Gray Fossil Site where the discovery was made.

Steven Jasinski, lead author of the study, and co-author David Moscato, were students of Schubert’s.

Jasinski says the snake didn’t have wings, but what makes it different is that its vertebrae have pronounced projections toward the front of its body.

The Gray Fossil Site is one of the richest fossil localities in the United States.

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