New fossils of an ancient legged snake called Najash rionegrina offer new information on the evolution of snakes

An article published in the journal “Science Advances” reports the study of new fossils of a snake belonging to the species Najash rionegrina, which lived in the Cretaceous period, between 90 and 100 million years, in today’s Patagonia, Argentina. A team of researchers led by Fernando Garberoglio of the Fundación Azara at Universidad Maimónides in Buenos Aires, Argentina, subjected various fossils belonging to this species, which had well-developed limbs, to a high-resolution CT scan to obtain new information on the evolution of snakes.

Komodo dragon (Photo Midori)

An article published in the journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution” reports a complete genome sequencing of the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard existing today. A collaboration between the Gladstone Institutes, the University of California, San Francisco and the Atlanta Zoo that includes researchers from the Universities of Florence and Padua, Italy, led to the sequencing of the DNA of the species classified as Varanus komodoensis using various technologies to obtain a high quality result. This made it possible to compare that genome with that of other reptiles to understand how it has become a lethal predator with unique physiological and metabolic characteristics among reptiles.