[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP160103005]
Researchers A/Prof Michael Lee
Brief description This project aims to address a high-profile evolutionary controversy – the origin of snakes – by reconciling the anatomical and fossil evidence with the burgeoning genomic data. New genomic data surprisingly links snakes with the un-snakelike iguana, prompting claims that the genetic and the fossil/anatomical data are irreconcilable. The project aims to evaluate these key fossils, and reptile anatomy in general, in light of the new genomic tree. This has potential to greatly elucidate major evolutionary changes across the lizard-snake transition (for example, extensive mobility in the snake skull). The project also plans to assess the long-term evolutionary consequences of ‘snakiness’, such as the hypothesised irreversibility of limb loss, and increased resilience to mass extinction.
Funding Amount $351,100
Funding Scheme Discovery Projects