The Poop Of A Hunter-Gatherer Who Ate A Whole Rattlesnake
Back in the 1960s, archaeologists collected hundreds of "coprolites" (read: fossilized poop) from a 1,500-year-old rock shelter in Lower Pecos, Texas -- an area that had long ago played host to tribes of hunter-gatherers. In a scene that echoed the ending of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, they then left these time turds to rot in a storage closet for the next half-century.
Paramount Pictures"Someone else can deal with this crap, literally."
When archaeologists at Texas A&M recently reopened the collection, they didn't expect to find anything of note hiding away amongst these nostalgic #2s. They were wrong.
When the team broke open a sample that they unimpressively described as a "really skinny cow pat," they found themselves staring at a rattlesnake fang -- one that looked just as fresh (and just as lethal) as any modern-day counterpart.
And then they found the ribs.
And then the vertebrae.
And then the scales.
The team soon realized that they hadn't found the poop of a hunter-gatherer with a terrible taste in toothpicks; they'd found the poop of a hunter-gatherer who, for whatever reason, woke up one morning and decided to eat an entire rattlesnake. We can't say for sure whether they survived the ordeal, but they sure did have time to make afterwards, and the scientists didn't find any skeletons nearby curled up in intestinal distress. We guess that's the closest thing to a happy ending this story gets.
E.M. Sonderman, C.A. Dozier, and M.F. SmithProving that even in the Neolithic era, Texans behaved pretty much the same as now.
So what would make someone eat an entire snake, you might wonder? In the case of your mom, $5. In the case of this individual, we have no idea. The best guess anyone can come up with is that it was part of a ritual intended to bring about rainfall, perhaps because the area was stricken by a devastating drought. Honestly? We'd rather take the drought.