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Temporal range: Eocene
Palaeopython fischeri - Naturmuseum Senckenberg - DSC02249.JPG
Palaeopython fischeri
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae
Genus: Palaeopython
Rochebrune, 1880
  • P. cadurcensis
  • P. ceciliensis
  • P. fischeri

Palaeopython is an extinct genus of snake from the Eocene of the Messel shales, Germany. It was a tree-dwelling snake that reached more than 2 meters in length. Like its modern relatives, the boas, it occasionally dwelled on the ground or in shallow waters close to riverbanks.[2]

Fossil in Vienna


  • Szyndlar, Zbigniew, "Oligocene snakes of southern Germany", Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Volume 14, Issue 1, 1994.
  • Ivanov, Martin, "Changes in the composition of the European snake fauna during the Early Miocene and at the Early / Middle Miocene transition", Paläontologische Zeitschrift, 74:4, pages 563-573, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. ISSN 0031-0220.
  • Schaal, Stephan, "Messel Pit Fossil Site – The Legacy of the Environment and Life of the Eocene", in Earth and Life, Springer Netherlands, 2012. ISBN 978-90-481-3428-1.
  1. ^ An additional species, P. sardus, was described in 1901 by Alessandro Portis from the Middle Miocene of Monte Albu (Sardinia, Italy). See: A. Portis (1901) Il Palaeopython sardus Port. nuovo pitonide del miocene medio della Sardegna. However, a reevaluation of the holotype specimen of this species revealed it to actually belong to an indeterminate acanthomorph fish. See: Massimo Delfino; Daniel Zoboli; Giorgio Carnevale; Gian Luigi Pillola (2014). "The rediscovered holotype of Palaeopython sardus Portis, 1901 from the Miocene of Sardinia belongs to a fish, not to a snake". Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana. 53 (2): 89–92.
  2. ^;510;937&session_nextpage=data_edit&session_offset=50&session_start=1&session_dbkey=1186380724;299753;796_Katalog3&dbkey=1186380724;299753;796_Katalog3