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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
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...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Snakes' Slitherin' Subterranean Kin
18 September 2012 7:01 pm
They came from below: Most modern groups of living snakes evolved from a burrowing ancestor, scientists report today in Biology Letters. The researchers rearranged the snake-and-lizard portion of the reptilian family tree based on a genetic analysis that examined DNA sequences in 44 genes from 161 species—representing most families of lizards and snakes alive today. Most groups of living snakes—including species as diverse as (clockwise from upper left) palm vipers, Indian cobras, green snakes, and timber rattlesnakes—are genetically most closely related to the Anomalepididae family of burrowing blind snakes. The new study is the largest of its kind, the researchers say; previously, the largest such study considered less than half the number of genes and less than one-third the number of species.
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