Evidence for a venomous Sinornithosaurus
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Recent work (Fry et al. 2008) showing the widespread presence of venom glands in lepidosaurs (including the common iguana) demonstrates that they are not “uncommon”. Both maxillary and mandibular glands were originally present and many lizards have retained their maxillary glands even though the mandibular glands are the primary source of toxin. Apparently, venom was present at the base of the lepidosaur radiation, and might be expected in a sister group (archosaurs). In modern reptilian taxa, teeth with pronounced labial grooves have proved to be venomous, and this type of tooth has often been suggested as indicating venom delivery in extinct taxa including conodonts (Szaniawski 2009) and synapsids (Hotton 1991). Gianechini et al. (2010) make a fundamental error by assuming that archosaurs with grooved teeth had no venomous taxa in their ancestry and were not venomous themselves. They support speculation about an extinct genus and additional speculation about other extinct genera. We...
KeywordsMandibular Gland Venom Gland Extinct Taxon Venomous Animal Extinct Genus
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