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BIO 101 Snakes and Evolution

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Snakes and Evolution
Snakes and Evolution
BIO/101
Snakes are reptiles that have been on Earth for over millions of years.
Snakes are a peculiar creature because the true origin of snakes is
unknown. The delicacy of their structure allows for error in fossil records,
because many of the first fossil records of snakes are incomplete
skeletons. A fact known to be true is that snakes were legged
vertebrates. The structure of a snake may be complex, but it is suited for
survival. This fact changes factors such as food, shelter and survival,
thus the evolution of snakes.
Fossil records of snakes date back to the crustaceous period. This era
signified the end of dinosaurs but there is evidence of snake life in this
era. An interesting fact is that dinosaurs are descendants of cotylosaurs
which then produced Diapsids, so snakes are not direct descendants of
the dinosaur, but they are evolutionary cousins of Tyrannosaurus and
Triceratops. During this era all the continents were together as one, and
they were called Pangea. The shuffle of all the continents caused
snakes to adapt to the new environmental changes, and strive to survive
through natural selection.
According to the Bible, snakes were forced to give up their legs and
slither on their belly because of mischievous doings. This may be a story
or fact but fact is that snakes had legs at one point in time. The first
records of legged snakes were found in the Middle Eastern. Another
record of a snake was later found in South America, where this snake
had two legs. These records presented three types of snakes proving to
have had vestigial hind legs. This theory proves that the origin of snakes
had legs. Pythons and other snakes still have spurs or ball joints close to
the tip of their tail. The spurs or ball joints are commonly used for
support when mating.

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