World Briefs: Four-legged fossil shows snake's origin

Four-legged fossil shows snake's origin

MIAMI • A fossil of a four-legged snake uncovered in Brazil has shed new light on the origins of snakes as land burrowers, not sea creatures, a study said.

This ancestor of modern- day snakes is the first of its kind and was found in Brazil's Crato Formation.

"The newly-discovered species Tetrapodophis amplectus, which lived during the early Cretaceous 146 million to 100 million years ago, maintains many classic snake features," the study, led by British and German scientists, said on Thursday. Its lack of a long, flattened tail distinguished it from aquatic animals.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Pro-Kremlin activist gets life for murders

MOSCOW • A nationalist leader was jailed for life for organising a string of hate killings, including the shooting of a prominent rights lawyer in broad daylight. Moscow City Court jailed Ilya Goryachev, 33, a former journalist and pro-Kremlin activist, after he was found guilty of ordering the murder of lawyer Stanislav Markelov, 34, on a busy Moscow street in 2009 as he walked from a news conference.

A reporter at opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Ms Anastasia Baburova, 25, was also shot dead as she accompanied Mr Markelov.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2015, with the headline 'World Briefs: Four-legged fossil shows snake's origin'. Print Edition | Subscribe