1.32" Fossil Sea Snake (Palaeophis) Vertebra - Morocco

This is a 1.32" tall fossil marine snake (Palaeophis maghrebianus) vertebra from the Lower Eocene-aged phosphate deposits in Morocco. It's good-sized--considering the majority of these snake vertebrae are less than half an inch--and the processes are mostly intact. This vertebra in particular has some beautiful banding in its preservation, likely caused by iron impurities in depositional fluids.

Palaeophis is an extinct genus of sea snake that lived during the Eocene epoch. One species of this genus, Palaeophis maghrebianus, has been described from fossils found in the phosphate deposits of Morocco. While some species of the genus could reach immense sizes (30-40 feet in length), Palaeophis maghrebianus was much smaller. A paper describing this genus can be found below.

New highlights about the enigmatic marine snake Palaeophis maghrebianus (Palaeophiidae; Palaeophiinae) from the Ypresian (Lower Eocene) phosphates of Morocco
Palaeophis maghrebianus
Oulad Abdoun Basin, Morocco
Phosphate Deposits
1.32" tall
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