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Pachyrhachis is found in Early Cretaceous rocks in Israel. It was a 1 m long aquatic reptile, and had the long body of a snake and the large head of a monitor lizard. The limbs and shoulder girdle had disappeared, but there were still traces of the hip bones. The hips were broad, as in many water dwelling animals, and evidently, Pachyrhachis swam by snakelike undulations of its flexible backbone.

Pachyrhachis is considered to be close to the ancestry of the whole snake group.

Author: Koen Stein
Last updated: 21/11/2005
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