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:


(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new ... make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction ... timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies ... screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing ... lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid ... setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to ... leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track ... and body mass index, and, when they opt in, ... convenient visit to a local retail location at no ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort ... variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting ... from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the ... commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject ... it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target ... over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the ... a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the ... WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing ... for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: