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Fwd: Oldest Mesozoic snakes: Eophis, Diablophis, Portugualophis, Parviraptor



I'll try changing the subject line...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 8:26 AM
Subject: Fwd: Oldest Mesozoic snakes from Jurassic & Lower Cretaceous:
Eophis, Diablophis, Portugualophis, Parviraptor
To: dinosaur@usc.edu, VRTPALEO@usc.edu


Apparently this post is being blocked on the DML. I'll try again...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 8:19 AM
Subject: Oldest Mesozoic snakes from Jurassic & Lower Cretaceous:
Eophis, Diablophis, Portugualophis, Parviraptor
To: dinosaur@usc.edu


Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:

New taxa

Eophis underwoodi
Diablophis gilmorei
Portugalophis lignites

**
Parviraptor estesi (formerly identified as an anguimorph lizard)



Michael W. Caldwell, Randall L. Nydam, Alessandro Palci & Sebastián
Apesteguía (2015)
The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous
provide insights on snake evolution.
Nature Communications 6, Article number: 5996
doi:10.1038/ncomms6996
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150127/ncomms6996/full/ncomms6996.html


The previous oldest known fossil snakes date from ~100 million year
old sediments (Upper Cretaceous) and are both morphologically and
phylogenetically diverse, indicating that snakes underwent a much
earlier origin and adaptive radiation. We report here on snake fossils
that extend the record backwards in time by an additional ~70 million
years (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). These ancient snakes share
features with fossil and modern snakes (for example, recurved teeth
with labial and lingual carinae, long toothed suborbital ramus of
maxillae) and with lizards (for example, pronounced subdental
shelf/gutter). The paleobiogeography of these early snakes is diverse
and complex, suggesting that snakes had undergone habitat
differentiation and geographic radiation by the mid-Jurassic.
Phylogenetic analysis of squamates recovers these early snakes in a
basal polytomy with other fossil and modern snakes, where Najash
rionegrina is sister to this clade. Ingroup analysis finds them in a
basal position to all other snakes including Najash.

Supplementary material is free:


http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150127/ncomms6996/full/ncomms6996.html#supplementary-information


====


News items:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/uoa-two012615.php

http://news.discovery.com/animals/earliest-known-snakes-slithered-around-dinosaurs-150127.htm