Archaeologists have discovered what’s thought to be the first example of an ancient human who consumed an entire venomous snake – fangs and all.
In a one-of-a-kind discovery at the Conejo Shelter in Texas, researchers recovered the bones, scales, and a single fang of a viper from fossilized human feces.
The remains of the precarious meal date back to roughly 1,500 years ago, and researchers suspect it was part of a ritual or ceremony.
Researchers from Texas A&M University and Wichita State University detailed the unusual findings in a new paper published to the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
In the study, the team analyzed samples from more than 1,000 coprolites (fossil poop) found in Texas during the 1960s.
It’s thought that the site may once have served as a latrine.
The samples revealed clues on the diets of hunter-gatherers in the region over 1,500 years ago – in the hot, dry climate, these people survived on small animals and what vegetation they could forage.