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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 85 Ma
Dinilysia patagonica.jpg
Illustration of the skull and vertebral column
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Clade: Ophidia
Family: Dinilysiidae
Genus: Dinilysia
Woodward, 1901
Type species
Dinilysia patagonica
Woodward, 1901

Dinilysia (meaning "terrible ilysia") is an extinct genus of snake from the Late Cretaceous (Coniacian) of South America. The snake reached a length of 6-10 feet (1.8-3 meters) and preyed on smaller animals. The shape of the animal's skull does not support the suggestion that snakes were burrowers during their ancestry; it is clear that Dinilysia was terrestrial.



  • Caldwell, M.W. & Albino, A.A., 2002. Exceptionally preserved skeletons of the Cretaceous snake Dinilysia patagonica, Woodward, 1901. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22: 861-866.
  • Fossils (Smithsonian Handbooks) by David Ward
  • Dinosaurus: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs by Steve Parker. Pg. 99
  • Fossil Snakes of North America: Origin, Evolution, Distribution, Paleoecology (Life of the Past) by J. Alan Holman