Evidence of Egg Diversity in Squamate Evolution from Cretaceous Anguimorph Embryos
2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 7, e0128610Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Lizards are remarkable amongst amniotes, for they display a unique mosaic of reproduction modes ranging from egg-laying to live-bearing. Within this patchwork, geckoes are believed to represent the only group to ever have produced fully calcified rigid-shelled eggs, contrasting with the ubiquitous parchment shelled-eggs observed in other lineages. However, this hypothesis relies only on observations of modern taxa and fossilised gecko-like eggshells which have never been found in association with any embryonic or parental remains. We report here the first attested fossil eggs of lizards from the Early Cretaceous of Thailand, combining hard eggshells with exquisitely preserved embryos of anguimoph (e.g. Komodo dragons, mosasaurs). These fossils shed light on an apparently rare reproduction strategy of squamates, demonstrate that the evolution of rigid-shelled eggs are not an exclusive specialization of geckoes, and suggest a high plasticity in the reproductive organs mineralizing eggshells.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 7, e0128610
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260862DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128610ISI: 000358197600009PubMedID: 26176757OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-260862DiVA: diva2:848792
FunderSwedish Research Council