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Snakes experienced a sudden burst of evolution after the dinosaurs were wiped out

The snake experienced a sudden evolution after the dinosaurs were wiped out 66 million years ago – the study found that it expanded its diet to include birds, fish and small mammals.

  • Snakes suddenly evolved after the dinosaurs were wiped out
  • They expanded their diet to include birds, fish and small mammals
  • This rapid diversification of snakes has led to nearly 4,000 species we see today.
  • Scientists studied the diet of live snakes, and models recreated what their ancestors ate


It is well known that the death of dinosaurs caused a significant diversification of mammals and birds on Earth 66 million years ago.

However, new research shows that snakes have also experienced a spectacular burst of evolution, expanding their diet from insects and lizards to newly available fish, birds and small mammals.

According to university researchers, this rapid change has created about 4,000 species that we see today. California And college Michigan..

To better understand how this evolution took place, experts studied the diet of 882 live snakes and used mathematical models to ancestors after a giant asteroid collided with the Earth. We have reconstructed how our eating habits have changed and diversified.

They found that the latest common ancestor of living snakes was insect-eating, consuming only insects and worms, but after the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, the snake’s diet. Also included a group of vertebrates that expanded rapidly and prospered as a result of the extinction of dinosaurs.

After the dinosaurs were wiped out, the snakes underwent a huge evolution, new research found to expand their diet to include newly available fish, birds and small mammals.

According to experts at the University of California and the University of Michigan, this rapid diversification has created nearly 4,000 species that we see today.The photo is Ahaetulla snake

According to experts at the University of California and the University of Michigan, this rapid diversification has created nearly 4,000 species that we see today.The photo is Ahaetulla snake

Are humans born afraid of snakes and spiders?

Researchers at MPIC BS in Leipzig, Germany and Uppsala University in Sweden study Even in infants, we found that seeing spiders and snakes caused a stress response.

They found that this happens at the young age of six months when the baby is still very immobile and there is not much opportunity to know that these animals can be dangerous.

“When I showed my baby pictures of snakes and spiders instead of flowers and fish of the same size and color, they reacted with a fairly large student,” said Stephanie Hall of the University of Vienna.

Researchers have concluded that fear of snakes and spiders is the origin of evolution, and like primates and snakes, it can identify objects by mechanisms in the brain and react very quickly to them.

“Many of the amazing ecological diversity of snakes seems to be due to evolutionary explosions caused by ecological opportunities,” said Michael Grundler, lead author at the University of California.

“After the extinction of dinosaurs, we found that the dietary diversification of snakes has increased rapidly. Species have evolved rapidly and are rapidly gaining the ability to eat new species of prey.”

Researchers said similar dietary diversification explosions were seen when snakes arrived at new locations, including when they were colonized in the “New World.”

“This suggests that snakes are taking advantage of ecosystem opportunities,” said Daniel Laboski, co-author of the University of Michigan.

“These opportunities can be created by extinction or by the spread of ancient snakes to new lands.”

Snake diet diversification slowed after the first explosion, but some strains experienced further bursts of adaptive evolution, the study concluded.

For example, when Old World ancestors colonized the Americas, colubrid snakes diversified.

These findings indicate that mass extinctions and new biogeographical opportunities can spur evolutionary change, the authors said.

Because snake fossils are rare, direct observation of the ancient ancestors of modern snakes and the evolutionary relationships between them is almost always hidden from sight.

Researchers said similar dietary diversification explosions were seen when snakes arrived in new locations, including when they were colonized in the

Researchers said similar dietary diversification explosions were seen when snakes arrived in new locations, including when they were colonized in the “New World.”

Snake diet diversification slowed after the first explosion, but some strains experienced further bursts of adaptive evolution, the study concluded.

Snake diet diversification slowed after the first explosion, but some strains experienced further bursts of adaptive evolution, the study concluded.

However, those relationships are conserved in the DNA of living snakes. Biologists can extract the genetic information and use it to create a family tree. This is what biologists call phylogeny.

Grundler and Rabosky have integrated their dietary datasets into previously published snake phylogeny data and new mathematical models to infer what long-term extinct snake species look like.

“You may find it impossible to know about species that lived long ago and have no fossil information,” Laboski said.

“But if we have information about evolutionary relationships and data about currently living species, we can use these sophisticated models to estimate what their old ancestors were. I can do it.”

New study published in journal PLOS Biology..

Dinosaur killings: how city-sized asteroids wiped out 75 percent of all animal and plant species

About 66 million years ago, non-bird dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half of the world’s species were wiped out.

This mass extinction paved the way for the rise of mammals and the emergence of humans.

Chicxulub asteroids are often cited as a potential cause of Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction events.

The asteroid crashed into the shallow waters of what is now the Gulf of Mexico.

The collision released a huge cloud of dust and soot, which caused global climate change and wiped out 75 percent of all flora and fauna species.

Researchers argue that the soot needed for such a global catastrophe may only have arisen from its direct impact on rocks in the shallow waters, especially around Mexico, which is rich in hydrocarbons. ..

Experts believe that the tsunami that struck the Gulf shook within 10 hours of the impact.

About 66 million years ago, non-bird dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half of the world's species were wiped out. Chicxulub asteroids are often cited as a potential cause of Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction events (stock image)

About 66 million years ago, non-bird dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half of the world’s species were wiped out. Chicxulub asteroids are often cited as a potential cause of Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction events (stock image)

This caused earthquakes and landslides in the area up to Argentina.

While investigating the event, researchers discovered small particles of rocks and other debris shot in the air when the asteroid crashed.

These small particles, called spheres, covered the planet with a thick layer of soot.

Experts explain that the loss of light from the sun caused a complete collapse of the water system.

This is because the phytoplankton base of almost all aquatic food chains was eliminated.

The evolution of more than 180 million years that led the world to the Cretaceous point is believed to have been destroyed within the lifespan of Tyrannosaurus rex, about 20 to less than 30 years.

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