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Triassic Fossil Reveals First Evidence of Live Birth in Archosauromorphs
“The first ever evidence of live birth in a group of animals previously thought only to lay eggs has been discovered by an international team of paleontologists from China, the United States, Australia and UK.
“Live birth (viviparity) is well known in mammals, where the mother has a placenta to nourish the developing embryo,” said University of Queensland Professor Jonathan Aitchison, senior author of a paper on the discovery published Feb. 14 in the journal Nature Communications.
“Live birth is also very common among lizards and snakes, where the babies sometimes hatch inside their mother and emerge without a shelled egg.”
Until recently it was thought the third major group Archosauromorpha, a group that first evolved some 260 million years ago and is represented today by birds and crocodilians, only laid eggs.
“Indeed, egg-laying is the primitive state, seen at the base of reptiles, and in their ancestors such as amphibians and fishes,” Prof. Aitchison noted. (…)” READ MORE
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