Sunday, April 30, 2006
I didn't really realize that there was a controversy of where snakes evolved (land or water). I always assumed it was in fact on land. A new study appears to support that theory.
The fossil snake—which has a primitive pelvis and robust, functional legs outside the ribcage—dates from about 90 million years ago.
Sebastian Apestegua, a researcher with the Argentine Museum of Natural Science, says the new fossil is not the oldest snake fossil ever found. Older marine snakes have been unearthed in North Africa and Eastern Europe.
But the species, named Najash rionegrina, is the earliest limbed snake ever found in a fully terrestrial deposit, he says.