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X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes were

Discussion in 'The Library' started by Rich, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Synchrotron X-ray investigation of a fossilized snake with legs is helping scientists better understand how in the course of evolution snakes have lost their legs, and whether they evolved from terrestrial lizards or from reptiles living in the oceans. New 3-D X-ray images reveal the internal architecture of an ancient snake's leg bones to resemble that of modern terrestrial lizard legs.

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    Use this thread to discuss the article above. What are your thoughts about X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes were getting legless?
     
  2. gapeachkatie

    gapeachkatie Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    You have to love science and technology! :D
     
  3. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    This has always interested me although I have never taken the time to delve more thoroughly into it....did snakes evolve from land lizards or sea creatures?

    I think this question is too general. I believe that different groups of snakes in various locations have evolved from whatever creatures were there before them, whether they were on land or in the sea originally.

    There is a lizard called a Galliwas (not sure of this spelling) that has really tiny, almost vestigial legs that serve it no apparent purpose at all, it might as well be a snake, and maybe it is???

    Also, what about their diet? All snakes are carnivores, but only some lizards. That is another reason I think it depends on the location and the conditions there over a long time...but I am just rambling on here a bit, and am no expert.
     
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    I never even wondered about aquatic vs. terrestrial ancestry. I always just assumed they were terrestrial (well, we have glass lizards too, that make me think snake evolution all over again.)
     
  5. Dragonflies

    Dragonflies Banned User

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    And in England, they have slow worms which are lizards without legs.
    New found discoveries that change current knowledge are coming thick and fast these days it seems.
     
  6. YellowOctopus

    YellowOctopus Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    Hehe. I <3 me some Eupodophis.

    This is really another example of science being less and less wrong all the time. I never really thought snakes might have had a common ancestor with lizards that was marine, but it would make sense. Glad to see it's starting to become cleared up.
     
  7. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    Wow, this artical was great! I'ts amazing how animals/reptiles can adapt to the ever changing conditions and needs. Takes a long time but it's so cool that we have this wonderful technology to find these things out.
    Thanks for another great article!
     
  8. blueginger

    blueginger Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    OK just to completley mix stuff up. Does anyone else believe in a young Earth, approx 6,000 years old and that the genetic information allows for adapatation? Not evolution from one complete species to another?
     
  9. gapeachkatie

    gapeachkatie Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    This makes me think about the article about the ancient Boa. From thinking about it, I just looked it up to see if it was on here.

    At 2,500 Pounds And 43 Feet, Prehistoric Snake Is Largest On Record

    If we could only imagine what kind of animal constrictors are really related to.
     
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    Many species of skink are in the process of losing legs - you can see several example of skinks with altogether diminished legs, some with only one pair of legs, and many of the glass lizards here are very skink-like. The southern glass lizards here (http://www.herpcenter.com/field-herping/30159-glass-lizard.html) looks skink-like to me. That said, I have not studied it's genetics or physiology - so that is just my hunch!

    Glass lizards still have a very lizard-like head (jaw structure, eyelids, etc).
     
  11. YellowOctopus

    YellowOctopus Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    There's actually a longer article on this on the BBC News- Science page. It includes a little discussion about the pelvic girdle in boids, and a little bit about the spurs. It also puts the new images of Eupodophis in perspective with the terrestrial vs. marine debate.

    Linkage: More comprehensive...
     
  12. Spyral

    Spyral Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    No. There is substantial evidence for a very old earth and the evolution of species.
     
  13. gapeachkatie

    gapeachkatie Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    I agree. I also believe the Earth has a tendency to force evolution to happen, say with warming trends and ice ages...
     
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    I believe in science. I did not have a religious upbringing though.
     
  15. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    Even with humans you can see a difference in appearances, skin colors just from where the person is originally from.
     
  16. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake: New hints on how snakes w

    Yes - Despite my 3.5 years in Florida, I retain my Northern pallor, lol.
     

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