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Academic & Professional Books  Reptiles & Amphibians  Reptiles

The Origin and Early Evolutionary History of Snakes

By: David J Gower(Editor), Hussam Zaher(Editor)
472 pages, Col & b/w illus
The Origin and Early Evolutionary History of Snakes
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  • The Origin and Early Evolutionary History of Snakes ISBN: 9781108837347 Hardback Aug 2022 In stock
Price: £79.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Snakes comprise more than 3,800 extant species found on all major continents except Antarctica. Morphologically and ecologically diverse, they include burrowing, arboreal, and marine forms, feeding on prey ranging from insects to large mammals. Snakes are strikingly different from their closest lizard relatives, and their origins and early diversification have long challenged and enthused evolutionary biologists. The origin and early evolution of snakes is a broad, interdisciplinary topic for which experts in palaeontology, ecology, physiology, embryology, phylogenetics, and molecular biology have made important contributions. The last 25 years has seen a surge of interest, resulting partly from new fossil material, but also from new techniques in molecular and systematic biology. The Origin and Early Evolutionary History of Snakes summarises and discusses the state of our knowledge, approaches, data, and ongoing debates. It provides reviews, syntheses, new data and perspectives on a wide range of topics relevant to students and researchers in evolutionary biology, neontology, and palaeontology.


1. Introduction / Hussam Zaher and David J. Gower; P

Part I. The Squamate and Snake Fossil Record
2. The origin and early diversification of squamates / Susan E. Evans
3. The first 80 million years of snake evolution: the Mesozoic fossil record of snakes and its implications for origin hypotheses, biogeography, and mass extinction / Jason J. Head, Alexandra F. C. Howard and J Johannes Müller
4. The diversity and distribution of Palaeogene snakes: a review, with comments on vertebral sufficiency / Krister T. Smith and Georgios L. Georgalis
5. Miocene snakes of Eurasia: A review of the evolution of snake communities / Martin Ivanov

Part II. Palaeontology and the Marine-Origin Hypothesis
6. Sea-serpentism / Olivier Rieppel
7. Reassessing the morphological foundations of the Pythonomorph Hypothesis / Michael J. Polcyn, Bruno G. Augusta and Hussam Zaher
8. A review of non mosasaurid (dolichosaur and aigialosaur) mosasaurians and their relationships to snakes / Bruno G. Augusta, Hussam Zaher, Michael J. Polcyn, Anthony R. Fiorillo and Louis L. Jacobs
9. A review of the skull anatomy and phylogenetic affinities of marine pachyophiid snakes / Hussam Zaher, Bruno G. Augusta, Rivka Rabinovich, Michael J. Polcyn and Paul Tafforeau

Part III. Genomic Perspectives
10. Using comparative genomics to resolve the origin and early evolution of snakes / Sara Ruane and Jeffrey W. Streicher
11. The evolution of squamate chitinase genes (CHIAs) supports an early insectivory–carnivory transition during the origin of snakes / Christopher A. Emerling
12. Origin and early diversification of the enigmatic squamate venom cocktail / Vivek Suranse, Ashwin Iyer, Timothy N. W. Jackson and Kartik Sunagar

Part IV. Neurobiological Perspectives
13. Using adaptive traits in the inner ear to estimate ecology of early snakes / Hongyu Yi
14. A glimpse into the evolution of the ophidian brain / Agustín Scanferla
15. Eyes, vision and the origins and early evolution of snakes / David J. Gower, Einat Hauzman, Bruno F. Simões and Ryan K. Schott

Part V. Anatomical and Functional Morphological Perspectives
16. Diversity and evolution of the squamate hemipenis: An overview with particular reference to the origin and early history of snakes / Giovanna G  Montingelli, David J. Gower and Hussam Zaher
17. The evolution of sperm-storage location in Squamata, with particular reference to snakes / Henrique B. Braz and Selma M. Almeida-Santos
18. An overview of the morphology of oral glands in snakes / Leonardo de Oliveira and Hussam Zaher
19. Macrostomy macrophagy and snake phylogeny / David Cundall and Frances Irish


Customer Reviews


David J. Gower is a Merit Researcher in Herpetology and Head of the Vertebrates Division in the Department of Life Sciences at The Natural History Museum, London. A collections-based, organismal biologist with interests in a wide range of topics in natural history and evolutionary biology, he has taxon expertise in Triassic archosaurs and limbless, mostly fossorial, amphibians and reptiles.

Hussam Zaher is a Full Professor and Curator of Herpetology and Vertebrate Paleontology in the Museum of Zoology at the University of São Paulo. He is an evolutionary biologist focusing on the systematics, palaeontology, and comparative anatomy of reptiles, with an emphasis on the diversity and evolutionary history of snakes and other squamates.

By: David J Gower(Editor), Hussam Zaher(Editor)
472 pages, Col & b/w illus
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