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:7/28/2014)... TEMPE, Ariz. - Reactions among minerals and organic compounds ... deep carbon cycle, they provide energy for the deep ... life. However, very little is known about how minerals ... Arizona State University have demonstrated how a common mineral ... negating the need for toxic solvents or expensive ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... School of Medicine have pinpointed a mechanism in part of ... the blood, linking it to both type 1 and type ... issue of Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences ... located in a part of the hypothalamus known as ... motion that control glucose levels in the blood," said lead ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... wild relative of the domestic tomato, has been published ... headed by Professors Neelima Sinha and Julin Maloof at ... genome information may help breeders produce tastier, more stress-tolerant ... journal Nature Genetics , was lead by Bjrn ... UC Davis labs carried out work on the transcriptome ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making and breaking bonds 2Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making and breaking bonds 3Glucose 'control switch' in the brain key to both types of diabetes 2
(Date:7/29/2014)... Quorum Review IRB, the industry ... accreditation by the International Association of Six ... Sigma Deployment Program. The citation recognizes robust organizational ... Quorum’s Lean Six Sigma program was evaluated by ... The designation is a public statement of excellence ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... MA (PRWEB) July 29, 2014 The ... Library of Congress was recently awarded to Juliana Hillis ... Stoneham, MA, for their project, “From an Egg, Everything: ... among 3,000 final entries for the National History Day ... than 300 historians and educators in Washington, D.C. , ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... of building materials using light, developed by researchers at ... that are often considered the realm of science fiction, ... Although cloaked starships won,t be a reality for quite ... constructing materials with building blocks a few billionths of ... way that light flies through them, and works on ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... (PRWEB) July 28, 2014 Proove ... medicine, will be exhibiting data and research conducted through ... International Spine Intervention Society’s (ISIS) 22nd Annual Scientific ... at the Hyatt Regency, in Orlando, Florida. ... and clinical competence of physicians who care for patients ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Quorum Review IRB Accredited by IASSC for Lean Six Sigma Deployment Program 2Quorum Review IRB Accredited by IASSC for Lean Six Sigma Deployment Program 3In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was the Subject of This Year’s Winning Entry for the Prestigious Library of Congress “Discovery or Exploration in History Award” 2In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was the Subject of This Year’s Winning Entry for the Prestigious Library of Congress “Discovery or Exploration in History Award” 3Building 'invisible' materials with light 2Proove Biosciences Exhibits Industry Leading Data and Research at International Spine Intervention Society’s 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting 2
Cached News: