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The fossilised mastodon jaw where an ancient rattlesnake is thought to have taken shelter

Iván Alarcón Durán

Some 15,000 years ago, a dusky rattlesnake stretched out and spent its last living moments inside the jawbone of a giant mastodon.

Now researchers are using the remains of this and a few other reptiles found around the fossilised mastodon, discovered in central Mexico, to gain an idea of what the climate looked like in the region near the end of the Pleistocene.

Jose Alberto Cruz at the Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexico says the mastodon bones …