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Most Primitive Snake Fossil Discovered 77

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-serpent dept.
smooth wombat writes "A newly discovered fossil seems to suggest that snakes evolved on land rather than in the water. The size of the fossil is unknown but it wasn't more than three feet long according to Hussam Zaher of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. It's the first time scientists have found a snake with a sacrum -- a bony feature supporting the pelvis -- he said. That feature was lost as snakes evolved from lizards, and since this is the only known snake that hasn't lost it, it must be the most primitive known, he said."
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Most Primitive Snake Fossil Discovered

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  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by FroBugg (24957) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:48PM (#15162633) Homepage
    Yes and no.

    This snake, with the sacrum, had to come before modern snakes. But evolution isn't a process of an entire species becoming an entire new species.

    A group of these snakes could have been geographically isolated, during which time they evolved further, losing the sacrum. Meanwhile, others of this species were still happily breeding elsewhere.

    So it could be possible to find a sacrum-less fossil older (though probably not by much) than this one.

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