Evolutionary origin and development of snake fangs

@article{Vonk2008EvolutionaryOA,
  title={Evolutionary origin and development of snake fangs},
  author={Freek J. Vonk and Jeroen F. Admiraal and Kate Jackson and Ram Reshef and Merijn A. G. de Bakker and Kim Vanderschoot and Iris van den Berge and Marit van Atten and Erik Burgerhout and Andrew Beck and Peter J. Mirtschin and Elazar Kochva and Frans Witte and Bryan Grieg Fry and Anthony E. Woods and Michael K. Richardson},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2008},
  volume={454},
  pages={630-633}
}
Many advanced snakes use fangs—specialized teeth associated with a venom gland—to introduce venom into prey or attacker. [] Key Method Here we examine this issue by visualizing the tooth-forming epithelium in the upper jaw of 96 snake embryos, covering eight species. We use the sonic hedgehog gene as a marker, and three-dimensionally reconstruct the development in 41 of the embryos. We show that front fangs develop from the posterior end of the upper jaw, and are strikingly similar in morphogenesis to rear…

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References

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TLDR
The phylogenetic pathways outlined herein were likely traveled several times independently in advanced snakes, and it is proposed that first fangs of both elapids and vipers likely evolved from real maxillary teeth.

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TLDR
It is the purpose here to identify possible initial selective advantages of enlarged teeth and to follow the implications of enlargement in "protoviper" evolution.

The evolution of venom-delivery systems in snakes

TLDR
Several major morphological changes occurred early in colubroid evolution: a Duvernoy's gland evolved, the posterior maxillary teeth became specialized relative to the anterior max- illary teeth, and the attachment of the pterygoideus muscle moved forward to a position associated with the posteriormaxillary teeth.

Snake fangs from the Lower Miocene of Germany: evolutionary stability of perfect weapons

TLDR
The fossil record supports the view that snakes used their venoms to rapidly subdue prey long before the mid-Tertiary onset of the global environmental changes that seem to have supported the successful radiation of venomous snakes.

Evidence from tooth surface morphology for a posterior maxillary origin of the proteroglyph fang

TLDR
Patterns of ridges on the surfaces of elapid fangs examined were found to be consistent with the hypothesis that the evolutionary precursor of the proteroglyph fang was an opisthoglyph fangs which migrated anteriorly.

THE EVOLUTION OF T HE VENOM APPARATUS IN SNAKES FROM COLUBRIDS TO VIPERIDS & ELAPIDS

TLDR
It is argued that both viperid and elapid snakes evolved from opisthodont ancestors and the Duvernoy's gland in most colubrid snakes should not be seen as a gland "on its way" to becoming a venom gland, but should be examined for the immediate biological role it plays in the life of those snakes possessing such a gland.

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TLDR
Investigation of the timing of toxin recruitment events across the entire advanced snake radiation indicates that the evolution of advanced venom systems in three front-fanged lineages is associated with recruitment of new toxin types or explosive diversification of existing toxin types.

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TLDR
The presence of serous secretory cells in the supralabial region and of a differentiated maxillary dentition within the most basal extant lineages of advanced snakes strongly suggest that the venom apparatus is a synapomorphy of the Colubroidea and that its absence in a few “Colubridae” results from secondary losses.