(OPINION) – JP – The Biblical story of the forbidden fruit – which discusses how the snake persuaded Eve to taste it, and how she and Adam, who also ate from it, were subsequently banned from the Garden of Eden by God – is probably one of the most well-known narratives in the history of humankind. As described in Genesis, the snake also received divine punishment. “You will crawl on your belly and eat dirt all the days of your life,” God tells the serpent, implying that before the event, the animal had legs, similar to many others.
Now, a new study published in Science Advances on Thursday has shed light on the life of snakes’ legged ancestors. Several fossils of an extinct snake group named “Najash” dating back to 100 million years ago were recently uncovered in Patagonia, Argentina. The group is named after the word nachash that both in biblical and modern Hebrew indicate the snake. As reported by the New York Times, the fossils, which include several skulls, seem to suggest that snakes might have lost their front legs millions of years earlier than their hind legs.