Yurlunggur camfieldensis

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Yurlunggur camfieldensis
Temporal range: Miocene-Oligocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Madtsoiidae
Genus: Yurlunggur
Scanlon, 1992
Species: Y. camfieldensis
Binomial name
Yurlunggur camfieldensis
Scanlon, 1992[1]

Yurlunggur is a genus of fossil snake in the extinct family Madtsoiidae. This genus was a part of the extinct megafauna of Australia, and contains the species Yurlunggur camfieldensis.[1][2]

A large apex predator that seems to have been extant in the region since the Miocene epoch. It is described as one of the Madtsoiidae family, that includes the species such as Wonambi naracoortensis, present in Australia until the Pleistocene.[3]

The name of the genus is derived from traditional name given by the people of Arnhem Land to the Rainbow serpent. They were large snakes, up to 6 metres long and 300 millimetres thick, that are more closely resemble Varanus (Monitors) than small burrowing lizards. John Scanlon has presented this as evidence of descent from the former, rather than burrowing ancestors that evolved into the elongate and legless snakes. The fossil material described by this species includes a rare example of a complete skull and mandible, often crushed in the fossilisation process, that was preserved in the soft limestone of a body of fresh water. This was found at the Riversleigh fossil site in northwest Queensland.[4]

The type locality is Bullock Creek, which occurs on the Camfield bed formations given in the specific epithet.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b J. D. Scanlon. 1992. A new large madtsoiid snake from the Miocene of the Northern Territory. The Beagle, Records of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences 9(1):49-60 [1]
  2. ^ Yurlunggur in the Paleobiology Database
  3. ^ Hutchinson, Mark N.; Stephen C. Donnellan (1993). "26. Biogeography and Phylogeny of the Squamata". In C.G.Glasby G.J.B.Ross P.L.Beesley. Fauna of Australia 2A (Online ed.). Australian Government Publishing Service. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-644-32429-8 http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/publications/fauna-of-australia/pubs/volume2a/26-fauna-2a-squamata-biogeography.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Salleh, Anna (16 February 2006). "Huge skulls clues to snake evolution". ABC Science Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  5. ^ Yurlunggur camfieldensis in the Paleobiology Database