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Scientists have known of just two living venomous lizards: the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard. Turns out there may be more than 1,500 of them.
The discovery, reported this week by the journal Nature, alters thinking on the origins of venom.
Scientists used to believe that snakes evolved venom between 60 million and 80 million years ago. Lizards were said to have developed it around 100 million years ago, independent of their legless cousins.
But after comparing the genetic code for snake and lizard venom, Bryan Fry at the University of Melbourne, Australia discovered that the two reptiles shared nine toxins. This supports the idea that snakes and venomous lizards evolved from a common venomous ancestor, and after connecting the DNA dots, Fry and his colleagues traced venom to a single origin 200 million years ago.
Originally posted by SpittinCobra
Thanks for sharing, I had read something about the komodo, its bite was said to hold bacteria and it made the bite deadly, but new studies had shown that it wasn't bacteria and was some type of venom.
[edit on 17-11-2005 by SpittinCobra]