The imagery on this page is supplemental to a paper entitled New snakes from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Maevarano Formation, Mahajanga Basin, Madagascar, by A.C. Pritchard, J.A. McCartney, D.W. Krause and N.J. Kley (in review). The abstract is as follows:
We describe three new fossil snakes on the basis of recently discovered vertebrae collected from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Maevarano Formation of Madagascar. One represents a new genus and species of madtsoiid, Adinophis fisaka, the third member of this clade recognized from the Maevarano Formation. It is distinguished from all other madtsoiids by its dorsoventrally compressed centrum, unique cotylar shape, and extreme dorsal placement of its synapophyses. The second taxon is a new species of the nigerophiid genus Indophis, I. fanambinana, representing the second nigerophiid taxon known from the Maevarano Formation. It shares numerous features with the Indian nigerophiid I. sahnii, including small synapophyseal facets positioned ventrolaterally on elongated synapophyseal processes and a unique cotylar shape in mid-trunk vertebrae. Finally, a third new taxon is represented by a partial centrum. Although this specimen cannot be assessed thoroughly due to its incomplete preservation, it is distinct from all other snakes known from the Cretaceous of Madagascar. These new discoveries, together with previous descriptions of snakes from the Maevarano Formation, make the Maevarano snake fauna one of the most taxonomically diverse snake assemblages known from the Cretaceous. The fauna is notably archaic, being comprised predominantly of representatives of the wholly extinct snake clades Madtsoiidae and Nigerophiidae. Moreover, the discovery of I. fanambinana among this fauna demonstrates a strong biogeographical link with contemporaneous Indian snake faunas.
About the Species
This specimen was collected by the Mahajanga Basin Project from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. It was made available to the University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility for scanning by Dr. David Krause of Stony Brook University. Funding was provided by an NSF grant (EAR-1123642) to Dr. Krause.
About this Specimen
This specimen was scanned by Jessie Maisano on 21 March 2012 along an oblique axis for a total of 690 slices. Voxels measure 3.16 microns.