- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
ScienceShot: Plate Tectonics Help Snakes Evolve
30 March 2010 8:01 pm
Say you're a little blindsnake, minding your own business, living in a burrow in southern India about 100 million years ago. Unlike your above-ground cousins, whose meanderings will eventually take them into new habitats and evolutionary niches, you're not going anywhere. So what's evolution got to do with you? Well, it turns out that sometimes creatures roam the earth and evolve, and sometimes the earth roams and creatures evolve. That's what researchers have found about the scolecophidians, the 260 different species of blindsnakes that live on every continent except Antarctica. By examining selected parts of these reptiles' genomes, a team reports tomorrow in Biology Letters that scolecophidians must have branched into new species as the continental land masses split apart millions of years ago. Their populations became isolated from one another, which is why this particular specimen now lives on the island Madagascar.