Navigation Links
Scientists discover reasons behind snakes' 'shrinking heads'
Date:3/20/2013

An international team of scientists led by Dr Kate Sanders from the University of Adelaide, and including Dr Mike Lee from the South Australian Museum, has uncovered how some sea snakes have developed 'shrunken heads' or smaller physical features than their related species.

Their research is published today in the journal Molecular Ecology (doi: 10.1111/mec.12291).

A large head "all the better to eat you with" - would seem to be indispensable to sea snakes, which typically have to swallow large spiny fish. However, there are some circumstances where it wouldn't be very useful: sea snakes that feed by probing their front ends into narrow, sand eel burrows have evolved comically small heads.

The team has shown normal-shaped sea snakes can evolve such "shrunken heads" very rapidly. This process can rapidly lead to speciation (one species splitting into two). The small-headed populations are also much smaller in absolute size than their ancestors, and these shape and size differences mean they tend to avoid interbreeding with their large-headed ancestors.

Dr Lee says, "A team led by my colleague Dr Kate Sanders at the University of Adelaide has been investigating genetic differences across all sea snakes, and we noticed that the blue-banded sea snake (Hydrophis cyanocinctus) and the slender-necked sea snake (Hydrophis melanocephalus) were almost indistinguishable genetically, despite being drastically different in size and shape.

"The slender-necked sea snake is half the size, and has a much smaller head, than the blue-banded sea snake.

"This suggested they separated very recently from a common ancestral species and had rapidly evolved their different appearances. One way this could have happened is if the ancestral species was large-headed, and a population rapidly evolved small heads to probe eel burrows - and subsequently stopped interbreeding with the large-headed forms."

'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Michael Lee
Mike.Lee@samuseum.sa.gov.au
61-882-077-568
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. U of T scientists map genome that causes Dutch Elm Disease
2. Scientists discover novel chemical that controls cell behavior
3. 87 scientists elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
4. New book celebrates women scientists in the Americas
5. Stanford scientists calculate the carbon footprint of grid-scale battery technologies
6. Scientists discover distant relatives of gardeners friend
7. Monell scientists help identify a missing link in taste perception
8. UF scientists discover new crocodilian, hippo-like species from Panama
9. UT Southwestern scientists make mouse model of human cancer, demonstrate cure
10. Sea lamprey genome mapped with help from scientists at OU
11. Sequestration will be a devastating blow to the nations research institutions and scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/11/2014)... under the normal circumstances, astrocytes participate in ... environment, and exhibit therapeutic and repairing effects ... studies have found that nerve cells differentiated ... have reduced viability, which produces influences on ... Kailuan General Hospital, Hebei United University, China ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... July 11, 2014 Research and Markets ... Biometrics Technology Market - Industry Analysis Size Share Growth ... offering. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 ... has created a need for high level security in ... personnel authentication such as username and passwords, tokens etc. ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- In the brains of ... mechanism that allows an electric or chemical signal ... another. Chemical synapses, which are the most abundant ... inhibitory. Synapse formation is crucial for learning, memory, ... and inhibitory synapses critical for brain function. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):International Biometrics Technology Market - Industry Analysis Size Share Growth Trends and Forecast to 2019 2Blame it on the astrocytes 2
... number one killer in the world and India carries more ... set to rise: it is predicted that by 2010 India,s ... Today, an international team of 25 scientists from four countries ... the world,s population carries a mutation almost guaranteed to lead ...
... of yeast cells has resulted in the most detailed ... a Texas A&M University chemical engineering professor whose findings ... until now have remained mostly theory., Working with populations ... Katy Kao, assistant professor in the Artie McFerrin Department ...
... new, international competition called the Digging into Data ... the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) from the ... (NEH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) from ... Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) from Canada. ...
Cached Biology News:The heart disease mutation carried by 60 million 2Evolutionary process more detailed than previously believed, study shows 2Evolutionary process more detailed than previously believed, study shows 3Evolutionary process more detailed than previously believed, study shows 4Leading research agencies announce new international competition: "The digging into data challenge" 2
(Date:7/10/2014)... 2014 Deep Knowledge Ventures last ... on ‘Commercialising Longevity Research’ and welcomed a host ... London Bioscience Innovation Center for the event, organised ... Analytics Ltd. The meeting highlighted the need for ... for age-related disease, as well as the crucial ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... OMICS Group’s 5th International conference and ... 2014 at Double Tree by Hilton Beijing, China is ... Analytical & Bioanalytical research methods only to facilitate improved ... occasion, Dr. Srinubabu Gedela, MD of OMICS Group Inc ... remarkable one in bringing a unique and international mix ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... Capital, a firm specializing in acquiring and managing food ... the Slim-Fast brand from Unilever. Unilever will retain a ... were not disclosed. Slim-Fast is a branded ... shakes, powders, bars and snacks to retail customers throughout ... United Kingdom and Ireland.  The ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... help in the fight against terrorism with the creation ... explosives with the use of light and special glass ... Actuators B: Chemical , the researchers describe a novel ... as low as 6.3 ppm (parts per million). It ... , "Traditionally explosives detection has involved looking for metals ...
Breaking Biology Technology:DKV Sponsors Forum on Commercialising Longevity Research; Brings Together Scientists, Investors, Entrepreneurs and Celebrities 2DKV Sponsors Forum on Commercialising Longevity Research; Brings Together Scientists, Investors, Entrepreneurs and Celebrities 3DKV Sponsors Forum on Commercialising Longevity Research; Brings Together Scientists, Investors, Entrepreneurs and Celebrities 4DKV Sponsors Forum on Commercialising Longevity Research; Brings Together Scientists, Investors, Entrepreneurs and Celebrities 5DKV Sponsors Forum on Commercialising Longevity Research; Brings Together Scientists, Investors, Entrepreneurs and Celebrities 6A Critical Review of Analytical Techniques for Improved Living Standards 2A Critical Review of Analytical Techniques for Improved Living Standards 3A Critical Review of Analytical Techniques for Improved Living Standards 4Kainos Capital Acquires Slim-Fast From Unilever 2Detecting trace amounts of explosives with light 2
... Corp. said it has bought all outstanding stock ... handles bank transactions and check image processing. , ,Metavante, ... said in October that it would buy VectorSGIs stock ... wholly owned subsidiary. The move followed Metavantes acquisition of ...
... Jim Doyle, right, is joined by Commerce Sec. Cory ... Wis. Wisconsins Department of Commerce will fund ... and other assistance at centers around the state, Governor ... provide $1 million per year for five years, he ...
... U.S. Supreme Court made a patent-law decision on Monday that ... sector. , ,The court denied an appeal in Univ. ... solidifies the decision that was made by the U.S. Court ... patent because the inventor did not provide an adequate written ...
Cached Biology Technology:State and university form network for entrepreneurial outreach 2State and university form network for entrepreneurial outreach 3Describe your invention, or your biotech patent may be worthless 2Describe your invention, or your biotech patent may be worthless 3Describe your invention, or your biotech patent may be worthless 4Describe your invention, or your biotech patent may be worthless 5
... water bath, with a comprehensive array of ... water baths with seamless, splash-water protected keypad ... MULTI-DISPLAY (LED) indicating up to 6 temperature ... Advanced MICROPROCESSOR technology with PID temperature control ...
Request Info...
... an aqueous solution that contains a purified ... in a MOPS buffer (3-(N-Morpholino) propanesulfonic acid), ... contains a combination of 0.02% methylisothiazolone, 0.02% ... and Haas Company) as a preservative. ...
Preparation Note: by a modification of the procedure of C.W. Hancher et al., Biotechnol. Bioeng. 11, 1055 (1969) Assay: ~ 20 A 260 /mg Solubility: water 10 mg/mL, clear, light-yellow Suitab tst...
Biology Products: