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Spondyloarthropathy in vertebrae of the aquatic Cretaceous snake Lunaophis aquaticus, and its first recognition in modern snakes


Albino, Adriana María; Rothschild, Bruce; Carrillo-Briceño, Jorge D; Neenan, James M (2018). Spondyloarthropathy in vertebrae of the aquatic Cretaceous snake Lunaophis aquaticus, and its first recognition in modern snakes. The Science of Nature, 105(9-10):51.

Abstract

Inflammatory arthritis is documented for the first time in snakes. Ossification of the intervertebral capsule and zygapophyseal joints resulting in segmental vertebral fusion was observed in the aquatic Cretaceous snake Lunaophis aquaticus. Such pathologic alterations are pathognomonic for the spondyloarthropathy form of inflammatory arthritis. A survey of 2144 snakes in recent collections, performed to identify Holocene prevalence, revealed only two occurrences in extant snakes. The findings in Bitis gabonica and Elaphe taeniura were indistinguishable from those noted in Lunaophis aquaticus and identical to those previously recognized in modern varanids. The pathology likely represents a form of reactive arthritis related to enteropathic infection. While the disease probably did not affect general locomotion, its vertebral column position may have compromised mating.
Keywords Spondyloarthropathy . Mesozoic . Marine snakes . SouthAmerica . Venezuela

Abstract

Inflammatory arthritis is documented for the first time in snakes. Ossification of the intervertebral capsule and zygapophyseal joints resulting in segmental vertebral fusion was observed in the aquatic Cretaceous snake Lunaophis aquaticus. Such pathologic alterations are pathognomonic for the spondyloarthropathy form of inflammatory arthritis. A survey of 2144 snakes in recent collections, performed to identify Holocene prevalence, revealed only two occurrences in extant snakes. The findings in Bitis gabonica and Elaphe taeniura were indistinguishable from those noted in Lunaophis aquaticus and identical to those previously recognized in modern varanids. The pathology likely represents a form of reactive arthritis related to enteropathic infection. While the disease probably did not affect general locomotion, its vertebral column position may have compromised mating.
Keywords Spondyloarthropathy . Mesozoic . Marine snakes . SouthAmerica . Venezuela

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:1 October 2018
Deposited On:25 Oct 2018 08:22
Last Modified:04 Nov 2018 06:50
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0028-1042
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-018-1576-7

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