First Snakes Had Tiny Ankles and Toes

The original snake ancestor was a nocturnal, stealth-hunting predator that had tiny hindlimbs with ankles and toes, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Their results suggest that snakes originated on land, rather than in water, during the middle Early Cretaceous period (around 128.5 million years ago), and most likely came from the ancient supercontinent of Laurasia. This period coincides with the rapid appearance of many species of mammals and birds on Earth.  Read more at…

ap us history exam: youve been studying the time period from 1492 to the present extensively (as per the course guidelines)? good! okay now tell us what misshapen land mass from the original supercontinent pangaea contributed to the formation of new hampshire and how that affected the evolution of homo habilis into americans as we know today

You know what I wanna see more of on here


I mean just look.

Isn’t it weird to know the Earth actually looked like this?

I’d also like to point out,the fucking names of them…

I don’t know about you,but Pangea sounds like the name of a toothpaste.

India off to the races

About 100 million years ago, the Supercontinent Gondwana, composed of what are today the continents of Africa, Australia, Antarctica, South America, and the Indian Subcontinent, broke apart. Most of the continents moved slowly, sliding away as mid-ocean ridges developed, but India did something remarkable. About 80 million years ago, India suddenly raced to the North, crossing the entire Tethys Ocean in only 30 million years at 2-3 times the speed of the other continents (see animated gif at our blog here:

A paper just published by Dr. Jagoutz’s group at MIT offers an explanation for how India moved so rapidly.

Keep reading

The First Snake

Nighttime was the right time for the world’s first snakes, according to a new study that found these slithery reptiles were once nocturnal predators with tiny back legs complete with ankles and toes.

The study, published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, also concludes that the first snakes likely emerged 128 million years ago in a warm and forested part of the then supercontinent Laurasia. (Laurasia included what are now North America, Europe and Asia.)

The research helps to clear up many long-standing debates over the earliest snakes.

“While snake origins have been debated for a long time, this is the first time these hypotheses have been tested thoroughly using cutting-edge methods,” lead author Allison Hsiang of Yale University said in a press release.

She continued, “By analyzing the genes, fossils and anatomy of 73 different snake and lizard species, both living and extinct, we’ve managed to generate the first comprehensive reconstruction of what the ancestral snake was like.”

Hsiang and her team identified similarities and differences between the 73 species, and used this to create a large family tree for snakes. They further noted some of the major characteristics of snakes throughout time.

The researchers believe that snakes originated on land as opposed to water, which had previously been theorized. The emergence of snakes during the Early Cretaceous coincided with the rapid appearance of many species of mammals and birds.

As for what the first snakes ate, the researchers believe that they could take on almost anything, but not super big prey like what some of today’s snakes can handle. That’s because the early snakes hadn’t yet evolved the ability to use constriction as a form of attack, like today’s boa constrictors.

The “ancestral” snake’s nocturnal ways passed on to many generations, so that diurnal or day-living snakes didn’t show up much until around 50-45 million years ago. That’s when Colubroidea — the family of snakes that now make up over 85 percent of living snake species — came onto the scene. Colder night temperatures probably led to the daytime ways of these snakes.

How Snakes Lost Their Legs

As the years went on, the little legs of the snakes got in the way of their slithering and gradually disappeared. Vestiges of their existence, however, still remain in many snakes, such as in modern boas and pythons.

Snakes are some of the planet’s most successful animals in terms of their worldwide distribution. While many species are threatened or endangered, it’s not for lack of travel time on the part of snakes.

The researchers note that snakes can travel across ranges that are over 68 square miles in size. To put this into perspective, the figure is 4.5 times greater than the ranges of lizards. Many snakes also live in aquatic habitats now, showing how versatile these reptiles can be in adapting themselves to challenging environments.

Photo: Recreation of the first known snake. Credit: Julius Csotonyi

Moonbow over Iguazu falls

Rainbows are produced by reflection and refraction of rays of light in water droplets hanging in the air, and while we usuallly associate rainbows to an interaction between sun and rain, this isn’t a universal constant. In this case, the light came from the full moon, and the water drops from the Iguazu river as it plunges over a step in the Parana Entedekka flood basalt. These vast outpourings of lava accompanied the early days of the South Atlantic, when it was slowly splitting the supercontinent Gondwana apart at the seam between Africa and South America. The other half of these rocks remains firmly in Namibia on the other side of the ocean.


Image credit: Darren Almond

anonymous asked:

Makoto for the character thing

*breathes in*

  • Why I like them

??? Everything???

  • Why I don’t

Lmao you thought??

  • Favorite episode (scene if movie)

Where they find out why Makoto is afraid of the ocean

  • Favorite line


  • Favorite outfit


  • OTP


  • Brotp


  • Head Canon

He likes watching kid shows (Like su) because of the innocence to them

  • Unpopular opinion

I don’t actually have one believe it or not

  • An oh-god-please-dont-ever-happen

Makoto crying???? pls dont

  • My nickname for them

My love

U.S.: Researchers Follow Snake Ancestors Family Tree

Researchers at the Geology and Geophysics Department at Yale University decided to travel the snake family tree to find out how today’s snakes developed from their ancestors millions of years ago. What they found was that early snake ancestors likely had small rear legs, ankles and even little toes.

Finding Common Snake Ancestors

The comprehensive research by Allison Hsiang and colleagues is the first of its kind in the study of snakes and their evolution. In the search for snake ancestors, researchers examined various fossils and the anatomy and DNA of 73 types of lizards and snakes. They focused on finding the main snake and snake-like ancestor and the granddaddy of all present day snakes.

In their findings, recently published in BMC Evolutionary Biology journal, what the researchers learned is that snake ancestors likely had hind legs, lived in damp forested areas, evolved on land, not the ocean, and that they were nocturnal and ate soft-bodied prey no larger than themselves. Researchers feel that ancient snakes were only able to eat prey that was no larger than their own head and had teeth that were needlelike for grabbing prey. They were not able to constrict or handle prey that was larger than they were, unlike today’s boa constrictors and similar species.
It is believed they lived around 128-million years ago during the Early Cretaceous on the continent known as Laurasia. Laurasia covered the areas now known as North America, Asia, and Europe.

The ancestor of all current snakes evolved around 20-millions years afterward and lived on the Gondwana supercontinent, which is what Antarctica, Australia, South America and Africa used to be. The rise of snakes as a species occurred during what is called the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution. During that time, scientists believe there was a huge upswing of diversification of reptiles, insects and mammals.

Ability to Travel Aided Success of Snake Ancestors

Hsiang and her colleagues believe that snakes stopped being nocturnal when the earth started to cool and the nights became colder. This led snake ancestors to venture out more during the day. They believe that the family Colubroidae likely started the trend, as they are the family that covers over 85% of today’s snakes. It is felt that Colubroidae became so widespread because of its ability to adapt to activity during the daytime.

There are currently more than 3,400 species of snakes and the researchers believe that their success is partly due to their ability to travel. Snakes have the ability to travel in ranges of 42,500-square miles, which puts them in all kinds of different habitats. They have shown the ability to adapt to different surroundings from desert to water, living in arid areas and wet areas alike. This adaptability has impeded the spread of other types of land-based animals. The snake ancestors traveled around the world, adapting to where they ended up, giving us the great diversification of snakes we have today.

Dear Pan,

I googled “happy birthday supercontinent” to look for something clever for your birthday. I was surprised when the first hit back was McAvoy’s face. Then I remembered I submitted that gif for one of your previous birthdays. So Happy Birthday!

I REMEMBER THAT :’))) i’m also glad to see even supercontinents get birthday cakes too. thank you!! <3