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:7/20/2017)... Delta (NYSE: DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints instead ... National Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in ... the boarding process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are enrolled ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( ... online age and identity verification solutions, announced today they ... Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... and International Trade Center. Identity impacts ... and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global ... of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s ... recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during ... at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... in Vilnius, Lithuania, announced today that they have entered into a multiyear collaboration ... to provide CRISPR researchers with additional tools for gene editing across all applications. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global ... industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering ... being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use ... with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your ... on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: