HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Fossil discovery marks earliest record of limbloss in ancient lizard

A University of Alberta paleontologist has helped discover the existence of a 95 million-year-old snakelike marine animal, a finding that provides not only the earliest example of limbloss in lizards but the first example of limbloss in an aquatic lizard.

"This was unsuspected," said Dr. Michael Caldwell, from the U of A's Faculty of Science. "It adds to the picture we have of what was happening 100 million years ago. We now know that losing limbs isn't a new thing and that lizards were doing it much earlier than we originally thought. On top of that, this lizard is aquatic. All the examples we have in our modern world are terrestrial, so it's a big deal."

The evidence offers the earliest record of vestigial limbsonce used in an animal's evolutionary past but that has lost its original function-- in a fossil lizard. The newly named species--Adriosaurus microbrachis--is described in the current issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and offers clues to the evolution of terrestrial lizards as they returned to water. The fossil was originally collected during the 19th Century from a limestone quarry in Slovenia. It then sat at the Natural History Museum in Trieste, Italy for almost 100 years before Caldwell and a colleague found it in 1996 during a trip to Europe. He later connected with Alessandro Palci, then a graduate student in Italy whom he helped supervise, and they worked on the fossil together.

The researchers soon realized the lizard's front limbs were not formed during development. "There was a moment when I said, 'I think we stumbled on a new fossil illustrating some portion of the aquatic process of losing limbs,'" said Caldwell. "There are lots of living lizards that love to lose their forelimbs and then their rearlimbs, but we didn't know it was being done 100 million years ago and we didn't know that it was happening among groups of marine lizards."

This discovery is an excellent ex
'"/>

Contact: Phoebe Dey
phoebe.dey@ualberta.ca
780-492-0437
University of Alberta
22-Mar-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Fossil DNA illuminates life
2. Fossils of ancient sea monster found in Montana
3. Fossil is missing link in elephant lineage
4. Fossilized liquid assembly: Nanomaterials research tool
5. Fossils pinpoint tropics as Earths most fruitful biodiversity spawning ground
6. Early bird caught the fish: Fossils depict aquatic origins of birds 115 million years ago
7. Fossil wood gives vital clues to ancient climates
8. Fossils tell the hole story of killer drillers and their prey
9. Fossil Patagonian plants show high insect feeding diversity 52 million years ago
10. Fossil records show biodiversity comes and goes
11. Enzyme discovery sheds light on vitamin D

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Fossil discovery marks earliest record limbloss ancient lizard

(Date:6/24/2015)... 22, 2015 Research ... of the "Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Fingerprint ... their offering. Huawei,s technological choice for ... direction than Apple,s and Samsung,s one. The Ascend ... by Fingerprint Cards, a main actor in capacitive ...
(Date:6/23/2015)... MINNETONKA, Minn. , June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... technology company that supports the entire spectrum of ... iMedNet ™ , the company,s ... has been awarded a Silver 2015 Stevie® Award ... the Health Products & Services Website category.  The ...
(Date:6/23/2015)... , June 23, 2015   Valencell, ... announced the results of a recent study that ... on the wrist during activity. In a study ... was compared along with the Apple Watch against ... measuring heart rate during activity. The study demonstrated ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Fingerprint Sensor - Reverse Costing Analysis 2MedNet Solutions' iMedNet eClinical Wins Silver Stevie Award 2Valencell Delivers Breakthrough Heart Rate Accuracy on the Wrist 2Valencell Delivers Breakthrough Heart Rate Accuracy on the Wrist 3
(Date:7/1/2015)... ... ... Apex Therapeutics announced today that company CEO, David Broecker provided a company ... presentation took place on Tuesday, June 16 and provided an update on the achievement ... treatment of pancreatic cancer. A copy of the company overview can be found ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... , ... June 30, 2015 , ... ... 12 to take part in the first half of “Integrative Biotechnology,” an applied ... partnership established in summer 2014, this course combines students from both universities and ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... , June 30, 2015  Juniper Pharmaceuticals, ... focused on developing therapeutics that address unmet medical ... George Elston will present at the ... Wednesday, July 8, 2015Time: , 4:45 PM EDTLocation: ... (live & archive): , www.juniperpharma.com, under  ,Investor, ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... , ... June 30, 2015 , ... ... to the federal government, announced in a paper published this week in the ... potential problem with the diagnostic techniques currently used to detect the Ebola virus. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Apex Therapeutics Presented Company Overview at This Year’s BIO International Convention in Philadelphia, PA 2Rivier University and Beijing City University Academic and Cultural Exchanges Begin 2Juniper Pharmaceuticals to Present at Cantor Fitzgerald Inaugural Healthcare Conference on July 8, 2015 2Noblis and Government Scientists Identify New Genomic Signatures of Ebola Using Whole Genomic Sequencing and Innovative BioVelocity Analytics Tool 2Noblis and Government Scientists Identify New Genomic Signatures of Ebola Using Whole Genomic Sequencing and Innovative BioVelocity Analytics Tool 3Noblis and Government Scientists Identify New Genomic Signatures of Ebola Using Whole Genomic Sequencing and Innovative BioVelocity Analytics Tool 4
Cached News: