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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.