Study Provides New Insights into Origin, Evolution of Snakes

According to a new study published online in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, the most recent common ancestor of all snakes was a nocturnal, stealth-hunting predator that had tiny hindlimbs with ankles and toes. The results strongly suggest that snakes originated on land, rather than in the seas, as the oldest snake fossils currently known – Coniophis, Najash, and Dinilysia – are all terrestrial. “Unlike modern snakes such as the boa constrictor, the ancestral snake had yet to evolve the ability to manipulate prey items much larger than its head, and could not yet constrict its prey,” Dr Hsiang and Daniel Field added.

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