Study Of Reptile Fossil Reveals How Snakes May Have Lost Their Limbs


  • newswise-fullscreen Study Of Reptile Fossil Reveals How Snakes May Have Lost Their Limbs

    Credit: © H. Yi

    Brain casing (A) and CT scan (B) of the skull of Dinilysia patagonica, with inner ear shown in blue.

  • newswise-fullscreen Study Of Reptile Fossil Reveals How Snakes May Have Lost Their Limbs

    Credit: © H. Yi

    Snake skulls, with inner ear in orange. Scale bar is 5 mm.

Newswise — Findings, recently published in the journal Science Advances, show that snakes did not lose their limbs in order to live in the sea, as has been previously suggested. The research led by scientists at the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences involves the analysis of a 90-year old reptilian fossil of Dinilysia patagonica, a 2-meter long reptile. Computed tomography (CT) scans of the bony inner ear of Dinilysia patagonica reveals how this ancestor to modern snakes became adept at burrowing.

As reported on the news blog of the American Museum of Natural History on November 30, 2015.

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