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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

A New Snake Skull from the Paleocene of Bolivia Sheds Light on the Evolution of Macrostomatans

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Scanferla, Agustin [1] ; Zaher, Hussam [2] ; Novas, Fernando E. [3] ; de Muizon, Christian [4] ; Cespedes, Ricardo [5]
Total Authors: 5
[1] Consejo Nacl Invest Cient & Tecn, Inst Bio & Geociencias NOA, Museo Ciencias Nat Salta, Salta - Argentina
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Museu Zool, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[3] Museo Argentino Ciencias Nat Bernardino Rivadav, Lab Anat Comparada & Evoluc Vertebrados, Buenos Aires, DF - Argentina
[4] CNRS, UMR 7207, Dept Hist Terre, Paris - France
[5] Museo Hist Nat Alcide DOrbigny, Cochabamba - Bolivia
Total Affiliations: 5
Document type: Journal article
Source: PLoS One; v. 8, n. 3 MAR 1 2013.
Web of Science Citations: 8

Macrostomatan snakes, one of the most diverse extant clades of squamates, display an impressive arsenal of cranial features to consume a vast array of preys. In the absence of indisputable fossil representatives of this clade with well-preserved skulls, the mode and timing of these extraordinary morphological novelties remain obscure. Here, we report the discovery of Kataria anisodonta n. gen. n. sp., a macrostomatan snake recovered in the Early Palaeocene locality of Tiupampa, Bolivia. The holotype consists of a partial, minute skull that exhibits a combination of booid and caenophidian characters, being the presence of an anisodont dentition and diastema in the maxilla the most distinctive trait. Phylogenetic analysis places Kataria basal to the Caenophidia+Tropidophiidae, and represents along with bolyeriids a distinctive clade of derived macrostomatans. The discovery of Kataria highlights the morphological diversity in the maxilla among derived macrostomatans, demonstrating the relevance of maxillary transformations in the evolution of this clade. Kataria represents the oldest macrostomatan skull recovered, revealing that the diversification of macrostomatans was well under way in early Tertiary times. This record also reinforces the importance of Gondwanan territories in the history of snakes, not only in the origin of the entire group but also in the evolution of ingroup clades. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/50206-9 - Origin and evolution of snakes and their diversification in the Neotropics: a multidisciplinary approach
Grantee:Hussam El Dine Zaher
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Thematic Grants