قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Science / The 99-million-year-old Serpent Hatchling was trapped in Burmese amber

The 99-million-year-old Serpent Hatchling was trapped in Burmese amber



The fossil remains of an embryonic snake were found in Cretan amber from Myanmar (also known as Burma).

  Xiaophis myanmarensis lived in a forest environment in present-day Myanmar. Photo credits: Cheung Chung Tat

Xiaophis myanmarensis lived in a forest environment in present-day Myanmar. Picture credits: Cheung Chung Tat.

The newly reported specimen is from an amber deposit in the Angbamo area of ​​Myanmar's Kachin province.

The fossil is a 1.6-inch (4.75 cm) postcranial skeleton of 97 vertebrae; the head of the snake is missing. It dates back to the late Cretaceous, about 99 million years ago.

"This snake, Xiaophis myanmarensis is associated with ancient snakes from Argentina, Africa, India and Australia," said University of Alberta Professor Michael Caldwell

"It is an important ̵

1; and so far absent – Component to understand the snake evolution from southern continents, that is Gondwana, in the middle of the Mesozoic. "

  Photo of the piece Amber with Xiaophis Myanmarensis and 3D reconstruction of his skeleton. Credit: Ming Bai, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Photograph of Amber with Xiaophis myanmarensis and 3D reconstruction of his skeleton. Photo credits: Ming Bai, Chinese Academy of Sciences

"It is 99 million years old and dates back to the dinosaur era, long before snakes began to differentiate into modern groups," Dr. Alessandro Palci from Flinders University and the South Australian Museum, Australia

"This Asian fossil helps to discover light as primitive snakes were dispersed from the southern to the northern continent."

"Although it is found in the northern hemisphere, it closely resembles South American snakes that lived at that time."

The amber fragment in which Xiaophis myanmarensis was found also provided important clues to his Environment.

"It is clear that this little snake lived in a wooded environment with numerous insects and plants, such as these are kept in the classroom," said Professor Caldwell.

"Not only do we have the first baby snake, we also have the first definitive evidence of a living fossil snake in a forest."

  Xing et al. examined a second specimen with a piece of skin that appeared to be from a larger snake. The level of conservation allowed the team to model the snake's pattern of pigmentation in life. Photo credits: Ryan McKellar, Royal Saskatchewan Museum

Xing et al examined a second specimen with something that seems like a piece of skin-skin from a larger snake. The level of conservation allowed the team to model the snake's pattern of pigmentation in life. Photo credits: Ryan McKellar, Royal Saskatchewan Museum

About 150 million years ago (Late Jurassic era), Myanmar was connected to Australia, the Antarctic, Africa, and South America, forming the supercontinent of Gondwana.

By Continental Shift, Myanmar

" Xiaophis myanmarensis was part of the fauna that rode on this landmass that transported all kinds of Gondwana plants and animals to Asia like a gigantic passenger ship," said Professor Michael Lee, also from Flinders University and the South Australian Museum.

"Although this snake was found in the northern hemisphere, it resembles Gondwana snakes."

  Photographs of probably snake skin: (A) Overall view of the complete specimen; Scale bar - 5 mm; (B) a close-up of the left part of the sample showing converging rows of scales (top center); Scale bar - 1 mm; (C) Close-up of the right middle region of the sample; Scale bar - 1 mm. Picture credits: Xing et al., Doi: 10.1126 / sciadv.aat5042

Photographs of probable snake skin: (A) Overall view of the complete pattern; Scale bar – 5 mm; (B) a close-up of the left part of the sample showing converging rows of scales (top center); Scale bar – 1 mm; (C) Close-up of the right middle region of the sample; Scale bar – 1 mm. Photo credits: Xing et al. doi: 10.1126 / sciadv.aat5042

Along with Xiaophis myanmarensis the team found and studied a second piece of amber with what appears to be a fragment of the repelled Skin of a much larger snake.

"The snake scales are diamond-shaped or ovate-shaped, with deep lines formed by skin between each scale, and some rows converge as observed ventrally in the existing snakes," the researchers said.

"Enlarged ventral scales can not be observed, with bright and dark areas scattered across the skin of the scales showing color patterns."

The degree of conservation allowed researchers to model the pigmentation pattern of the animal in life ,

The research is published in the journal Science Advances

_____

Lida Xing et al . 2018. A mid-chalk embryonic to neonate snake from Myanmar. Science Advances 4 (7): eaat5042; doi: 10.1126 / sciadv.aat5042


Source link