Palaeoecological inferences for the fossil Australian snakes Yurlunggur and Wonambi (Serpentes, Madtsoiidae)

dc.contributor.author Palci, Alessandro
dc.contributor.author Hutchinson, Mark N
dc.contributor.author Caldwell, Michael W
dc.contributor.author Scanlon, John D
dc.contributor.author Lee, Michael S Y
dc.date.accessioned 2018-09-27T06:59:58Z
dc.date.available 2018-09-27T06:59:58Z
dc.date.issued 2018-02-01
dc.description Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited. en_US
dc.description.abstract Madtsoiids are among the most basal snakes, with a fossil record dating back to the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian). Most representatives went extinct by the end of the Eocene, but some survived in Australia until the Late Cenozoic. Yurlunggur and Wonambi are two of these late forms, and also the best-known madtsoiids to date. A better understanding of the anatomy and palaeoecology of these taxa may shed light on the evolution and extinction of this poorly known group of snakes and on early snake evolution in general. A digital endocast of the inner ear of Yurlunggur was compared to those of 81 species of snakes and lizards with known ecological preferences using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics. The inner ear of Yurlunggur most closely resembles both that of certain semiaquatic snakes and that of some semifossorial snakes. Other cranial and postcranial features of this snake support the semifossorial interpretation. While the digital endocast of the inner ear of Wonambi is too incomplete to be included in a geometric morphometrics study, its preserved morphology is very different from that of Yurlunggur and suggests a more generalist ecology. Osteology, palaeoclimatic data and the palaeobiogeographic distribution of these two snakes are all consistent with these inferred ecological differences. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Financial support came from the Australian Research Council for funding to M.S.Y.L. and A.P. (grant no. DP 160103005). en_US
dc.identifier.citation Palci, A., Hutchinson, M.N., Caldwell, M.W., Scanlon, J.D. & Lee, M.S.Y., (2018). Palaeoecological inferences for the fossil Australian snakes Yurlunggur andWonambi (Serpentes, Madtsoiidae). Royal Society Open Science, 5: 172012. en_US
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.172012 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2054-5703
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2328/38337
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher The Royal Society Publishing en_US
dc.relation.grantnumber ARC/DP160103005 en_US
dc.rights © 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited. en_US
dc.rights.holder © 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society. en_US
dc.rights.license CC-BY
dc.subject canonical variates analysis en_US
dc.subject principal components analysis en_US
dc.subject geometric morphometrics en_US
dc.subject labyrinth en_US
dc.subject ecology en_US
dc.subject madtsoiid snakes en_US
dc.title Palaeoecological inferences for the fossil Australian snakes Yurlunggur and Wonambi (Serpentes, Madtsoiidae) en_US
dc.type Article en
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