48-Million-Year-Old Fossil Shows Insect Inside Lizard Inside Snake (Video)

September 8, 2016 Updated: September 8, 2016

A glimpse into the animal kingdom’s food chain 48 million years ago has been made possible by the discovery of a very unique fossil.

A new study by researchers from Germany and Argentina describes the imprint showing an insect in the stomach of a lizard which had then been eaten by a snake. The specimen was found in the Messel Pit where the snake is believed to have somehow died soon after consuming its prey.

Located in present-day Germany, the site has produced many fossils with unusually well-preserved stomach contents but none with three levels. In fact, the paper points out that this is only the second time such a fossil has ever been reported.

Among the team’s more surprising findings is that the lizards of this time may not have restricted their diets to plants as previously thought.