Geologist Dhanajay Mohabey of the Indian Geological Survey first unearthed the fossil 26 years ago in a rocky, limestone outcropping in the northwestern Indian village of Dholi Dungri. He thought all the bones at the site were those of dinosaur hatchlings.
But in 2001, University of Michigan paleontologist Jeff Wilson, took a second look at the fossils. The team then recognized they had actually found a snake coiled around a broken egg, with a hatchling and two other eggs nearby. The findings appeared Mar. 1 in Public Library of Science Biology.
The newly discovered species of snake, Sanajeh indicus, measures about 11.5 feet long. The hatchlings, part of a group called titanosaurs, measured about a foot and a half long. Titanosaurs were the largest animal to ever walk on land, with adults that could reach up to 100 feet long.
Unlike modern snakes, S. indicus lacked jaw joints that allowed it to open its mouth incredibly wide, so it relied on its large overall body size to prey on the fledgling dinosaurs.