One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A primitive snake of the extinct genus Palaeophis, of the late Cretaceous or early Tertiary. Also (in form Palaeophis): the genus itself.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Richard Owen (1804–1892), comparative anatomist and palaeontologist. From scientific Latin Palaeophis, genus name from palaeo- + ancient Greek ὄϕις serpent.
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