Giant boid snake from the Palaeocene neotropics reveals hotter past equatorial temperatures

  title={Giant boid snake from the Palaeocene neotropics reveals hotter past equatorial temperatures},
  author={Jason J. Head and Jonathan I. Bloch and Alexander K. Hastings and Jason R. Bourque and Edwin Alberto Cadena and Fabiany Herrera and P. D. Polly and Carlos Jaramillo},
The largest extant snakes live in the tropics of South America and southeast Asia where high temperatures facilitate the evolution of large body sizes among air-breathing animals whose body temperatures are dependant on ambient environmental temperatures (poikilothermy). Very little is known about ancient tropical terrestrial ecosystems, limiting our understanding of the evolution of giant snakes and their relationship to climate in the past. Here we describe a boid snake from the oldest known… 

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  • C. Brownstein
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    BMC ecology and evolution
  • 2022
The skulls and skeletons of two new choristoderes from a single Paleocene ecosystem in western North America are described that reveal the hidden Cenozoic diversity of this reptile clade and strengthen the evidence for the existence of distinctive freshwater faunas in Paleogene Eurasia and North America.

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Diversity in neotropical wet forests during the Cenozoic is linked more to atmospheric CO2 than temperature

  • D. RoyerB. Chernoff
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2013
Pollen morphospecies richness in an angiosperm-dominated record from the Palaeogene and early Neogene of Colombia and Venezuela correlates positively to CO2 much more strongly than to temperature, a prediction supported by analyses if productivity is linked to species richness.



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  • R. BurnhamKirk R. Johnson
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 2004
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  • J. Alroy
  • Environmental Science
  • 1998
Body mass estimates for 1534 North American fossil mammal species show that new species are on average 9.1% larger than older species in the same genera, which partially explains the unwavering lower size limit and the gradually expanding mid-sized gap.