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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
riversleigh@outbackatisa.com.au
http://www.outbackatisa.com.au/Fossil-Education/Palaeontologist.aspx
 
"Get this $%#@* python off me!", said Tom laocoonically.