The rise of Jurassic scaled reptiles supported by the disparity and evolutionary speed of lepidosauria

Scientists have discovered that an important modern group of reptiles, known as scaled reptiles, including lizards and snakes, diverged in the Jurassic period, 50 million years earlier than previously thought.

New research announced today eLife According to Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) and scientists at the University of Bristol, they challenge the current consensus that Cretaceous scaled reptiles occurred. This was when many terrestrial tetrapod groups such as mammals, lizards and birds experienced apparently significant diversification during the so-called Cretaceous terrestrial revolution caused by the rise of flowering plants.

Currently, a new study led by Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont and Dr. Arnau Bolet, a paleontologist at the University of Bristol, suggests much earlier scaled reptile radiation. Together with Bristol’s colleagues in the Earth Sciences, Professor Michael Benton, Dr. Tom Stubbs, and Jorge Elera Flores, their study concludes that this group of reptiles probably achieved diverse adaptations in the Jurassic (201-145 Myr). increase. , Long before the current quote. “Although Jurassic scaled reptiles are rare, the reconstructed evolutionary trees show that all major areas of the scaled reptile have evolved, about 50 million years earlier than expected, by Gecko. , Iguanas, lizards, worm lizards, and snake adaptations can be distinguished. “Study co-author Michael Benton explains.” But how rare Jurassic fossils evolve? Can you suggest an early burst? The key lies in their anatomy. “

A fossil of the Jurassic lizard Eichstaettisaurus. Credits: Jorge Herrera Flores

A few Jurassic scaled reptiles do not show the primitive morphology as expected, but they are directly related to diverse modern groups. “Instead of finding a generalized suite of lizards on the scaly trunk, what we found in the Jurassic was the first representative of many modern groups with advanced morphological features,” the article said. The lead author, Arnau Boretto, says.

The observed divergence timings, morphological space plots, and evolutionary velocities all suggest that the Jurassic was a period of innovation in scaled reptile evolution, during which time the foundation for the group’s success was established. According to these results, the apparent sudden increase in diversity observed in the Cretaceous is associated with improved fossil records that can record more species, or bursts of origin of new species associated with new types of forests. It may be. insect.

Scaled reptiles are the largest order for reptiles such as lizards, snakes and worms Lizards.. All scaled reptiles are homeothermic animals, and their skin is covered with horny scales.They are an important part of modern terrestrial animals, especially Mild climate, With an amazing variety of over 10,000 species. However, it is still not well understood to understand the evolutionary path that has built their success.

Establishing the timing and mode of scaled reptile radiation not only understands the dynamics of the Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem, but also provides an astonishing diversity of more than 10,000 species in the Tetrapod, comparable to birds. It’s the key to understanding how you’ve achieved it.

State-of-the-art analysis of prehistoric teeth sheds new light on the lizard and snake diet

For more information:
Arnau Bolet et al, Jurassic scaled reptiles supported by lepidosauria inequality and evolutionary rate, eLife (2022). DOI: 10.7554 / eLife.66511

Journal information:

Quote: The rise of the scaled reptile Jurassic, supported by the lepidosauria disparity and evolution rate (May 3, 2022), is https: // Obtained from disparity-evolutionary.html on May 3, 2022

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The rise of Jurassic scaled reptiles supported by the disparity and evolutionary speed of lepidosauria

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