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RE: Venom in Sinornithosaurus

Erik Boehm wrote:

Ok, then I'll propose a more restrictive extinction event:

Suppose all snakes go extinct except for the non venomous Corn Snake family.
Do you then conclude despite finding fossils with fangs, that the snakes
were non-poisonous, as there must be some other function for the fangs?


How about this: Suppose all (and only) colubroid snakes go extinct, leaving
scolecophidians, 'amerophidians' (Anilius + tropidophiids),
Cylindrophis+Anomochilus+Uropeltidae, Xenopeltis+Loxocemus+Pythonidae,
Ungaliophiinae+Erycinae+Boidae, Bolyeriidae, and Acrochordus. 

That's at least seven extant successive sister groups to the
(sometimes-fanged, sometimes-venomous) Colubroidea, with no grooved teeth
and no venom glands anywhere in sight. This is just part of the parsimony
problem that Fry's 'venom clade' argument has to fight against...

Dr John D. Scanlon, FCD
Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Outback at Isa
"Get this $%#@* python off me!", said Tom laocoonically.