Chapter

Evolutionary Biology

Volume 22 of the series Evolutionary Biology pp 37-130

A Review of the Origin of Snakes

  • Olivier RieppelAffiliated withPaleontological Institute and Museum of the University of Zurich

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Abstract

The problem of the origin of snakes has been a central issue in herpetology ever since the innovative work of Cope (1869). Although the riddle appears to be rather easily solved if looked at from a somewhat superficial prespective, it must be admitted that an acceptable solution is no closer than at the beginning of this century, and while faith in the promise for progress of a purely observational approach vanishes, conceptual issues are more and more thrown into focus.