Modern snakes evolved from a few survivors of dino-killing asteroid  Phys.orgView Full Coverage on Google News
A new study suggests that all living snakes evolved from a handful of species that survived the giant asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs and most other living things at the end of the Cretaceous. ...

Modern snakes evolved from a few survivors of dino-killing asteroid

Snakes owe their success in part to the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.Snakes owe their success in part to the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

Asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs shaped fortunes of snakes

Mass extinctions have repeatedly shaped global biodiversity. The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction caused the demise of numerous vertebrate groups, and its aftermath saw the rapid diversification of surviving mammals, birds, frogs, and teleost fishes. However, the effects of the K-Pg extinction on the evolution of snakes—a major clade of predators comprising over 3,700 living species—remains poorly understood. Here, we combine an extensive molecular dataset with phylogenetically and stratigraphically constrained fossil calibrations to infer an evolutionary timescale for Serpentes. We reveal a potential diversification among crown snakes associated with the K-Pg mass extinction, led by the successful colonisation of Asia by the major extant clade Afrophidia. Vertebral morphometrics suggest increasing morphological specialisation among marine snakes through the Paleogene. The dispersal patterns of snakes following the K-Pg underscore the importance of this mass extinction event in shaping Earth’s extant vertebrate faunas. Snakes are one of the most successful groups of living vertebrates, but the timing of their diversification is unclear. Combining molecular clocks, fossils, and biogeography, Klein et al. show that snakes experienced a diversification, and underwent dispersal, around the time of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.Nature Communications - Snakes are one of the most successful groups of living vertebrates, but the timing of their diversification is unclear. Combining molecular clocks, fossils, and...

Evolution and dispersal of snakes across the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction | Nature Communications

It all happened in just an evolutionary moment. Sixty-six million years ago, a huge asteroid burned its way into Earth's atmosphere and annihilated the non-avian dinosaurs. The survivors – mammals, frogs, reptiles and more – spread out, diversiIt all happened in just an evolutionary moment. Sixty-six million years ago, a huge asteroid burned its way into Earth's atmosphere and annihilated the non-avian dinosaurs. The survivors – mammals, frogs, reptiles and more – spread out, diversifi

All Modern Snakes Evolved From Just a Few Asteroid Survivors