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dragonlady_mothman

Snake with Legs

40 posts in this topic

A FOSSIL snake with well-developed rear limbs has fired the debate over whether snakes' ancestors lived on land or in the sea.

The 95-million-year-old Haasiophis terrasanctus was found in marine deposits north of Jerusalem. In 1996, researchers who studied a similar legged snake called Pachyrhachis decided that it was an ancestral snake that had never lost its rear legs. As Pachyrhachis was a sea predator, they concluded that it—and all snakes—had evolved from marine lizards called mosasaurs (New Scientist, 30 November 1996, p 17)

But Olivier Rieppel of the Field Museum in Chicago thinks they got it wrong. He says Haasiophis could dislocate its jaw to swallow large prey—a feature that first appeared in advanced "big-mouth" snakes such as pythons. This suggests that far from being ancestral, both Haasiophis and Pachyrhachis are advanced snakes that had re-evolved legs. Snakes such as pythons retain limb buds, says Rieppel, so re-evolving limbs isn't a problem. He thinks the first snakes evolved from lizards that burrowed in soil or leaf debris.

However, Mike Caldwell of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa says that Rieppel's analysis fails to compare the legged snakes with mosasaurs, which he considers their closest relatives. That could mistakenly put primitive legged snakes among more modern ones.

source

Does anyone know anything about Giganthopis garstini, perhaps spelled Giganthropus garstini?

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So, if I'm not very much mistaken, they are saying that a select few snakes are devolving into lizards?

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Hmmm, I think somebody doesn't like this topic because the Bible says snakes all had legs until the "bad" snake tricked Eve and God took away their legs as a punishment. Doesn't seem fair to all the other snakes who weren't even there, does it? So much for a "just" God.

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All that is fake

Oh? And.. do you have anything to support that this is fake? Bible not withstanding.

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While giant dinosaurs roamed the earth, snakes were basically the same size as they are now. The longest prehistoric snake was the python-like Giganthopis garstini, which inhabited what is now Egypt about 38 million years ago. Parts of a spinal column and a small piece of jaw discovered in Fayum, in the Western Desert, indicate a probable length of some 11m (36ft|).

Got that off a website after searching Giganthopis garstini. Apparently it's the longest Prehistoric snake. That's the only website that showed up though, and nothing came up for Giganthropus garstini.

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All that is fake

Oh? And.. do you have anything to support that this is fake? Bible not withstanding.

You should know by now they don't!

*Scratches behind ears*

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Snakes such as pythons retain limb buds, says Rieppel, so re-evolving limbs isn't a problem.

Haha! I knew that! :D I was even going to contribute it as my bit of wisdom, til I reread the article and realised it was already mentioned. Funny how how being the mommy of an inquisitive 5 year old makes a person somewhat knowledgeable in lizards and reptiles and dinos.

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I can't find it right now, but I saw an article years ago that talked about Boa Constrictors having what appeared to be legs.

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yeah, they lost them during evolution for whatever reason. its like whales, that used to have legs, according to the bone structure, and they to lost them during evolution.

or are they evolving limbs? dun dun dunnnnn :P

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Technically, if scientists are correct that snakes evolved from mosasaurs,, they didn't lose their legs, but instead lost their "flippers" for mosasaurs were marine reptiles that had already lost their legs millions and millions of years earlier.

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Check the Image Gallery. I forgot the name of that snake but it has forearms and definately alive.

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Found it Denzanrom...that might have been what I saw in the pet store, not entirely sure because I that it had hind legs too.

user posted image

Ajolote: Mexican reptile of the genus Bipes. It and several other tropical burrowing species are placed in the Amphisbaenia, a group separate from lizards and snakes among the Squamata. Unlike the others, however, which have no legs, it has a pair of short but well-developed front legs. In line with its burrowing habits, the skull is very solid, the eyes small, and external ears absent.

I

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That's not a snake, so doesn't dispute the Mosasaur to snake theory.

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it's not hard to belive that snakes once had legs, that piccy looks like a cross between a ghila monster and a snake *hiss, Hiss* I have a snake I call him jake or jake the snake

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It has everthing to do with the formation of the skull and other structures. Mosasaurs have a skull very similar to snakes, which is why paleontologists think they could be their ancestors. There are several species of lizards that have "lost" their legs and do look a lot like snakes, but they are true lizards.

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That's not a snake, so doesn't dispute the Mosasaur to snake theory.

Never said it was a snake draconic chronicler. It is an ajolote (see my previous post for the description)

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But wasn't the point of the post to lend credence the the theory that snakes once had legs? It is a mute point anyway, because one could argue that the mososaurs once had "legs". My point was only that by the time they evolved into snakes, those appendages had already developed into flippers millions of years earlier.

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Nope, the point of the post was that Denzanrom mentioned a picture in the gallery, and I posted the pic for easy access :tu:

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All that is fake

bible doesnt count

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It is unfortunate how many Christians cling to some of the silliest and unsupportable Biblical myths, like "God" taking away the snakes legs as punishment for Eden. This is about as realistic as kiplings story of how "Mr. Crocodile stretched Elephant child's nose into the first elephant's trunk". For intelligent people who believe in God certain Biblical stories must be regarded as "mythology". Not only from a scientific standpoint, such as the truth behind snakes and their legs, but also from a historical standpoint in that it is unquestionable that the Eden story saw its origins in a much earlier Eden story in Sumerian pagan religion. And we also see a snake tricking Gilgamesh out of his eternal life, and this story is much earlier than the bible.

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um.. snakes + legs = Lizards......

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where do the two kinds of sea snakes fit into all of this?

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just to be tool, I wanted to point out to the couple of you who used the term: there is no such thing as "Devolving" or de-evolving, to say that assumes that the creature has reached its evolutionary peak and is not working against the laws of nature to become less adaptive to its environment.

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I'm rather interested in this due to the fact that we here up in Scandinavia got a mythological creature called the "lindorm", or as i imagen the english word must be "lindworm" since "orm" means snake/serpent. These creatures are said look like bigger snakes but have forearms with claws... You see why it's so fascinating? ;)

EDIT: I forgot to say that as they grow bigger they get a harder time moving around on land and therefore escapes down in the water where they continue to grow (and could explain the lack of ecivence suck as bones)...

Edited by Vidgange

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