The fossil of a python dating from about 15 million years ago has been discovered in southern Germany, first time proof that the reptile lived so far north, German palaeontologists said Monday.
They deduced from a group of seven vertebrae that the python had measured three and a half metres (11.5 feet).
The fossil of the python, normally found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia, was found about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Munich by a team of German and Czech researchers.
"With the sudden fall in temperatures 14 million years ago, the destiny of this python... was sealed," Madeleine Boehme, of the palaeontologist working group at Tuebingen University said.
They worked with colleagues from Masaryk University in the Czech city of Brno.