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Typhlophis squamosus, Trinidad Blind Snake
Dr. Olivier Rieppel - Field Museum of Natural History
N.J. Kley and J.A. Maisano
Typhlophis squamosus
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National Museum of Natural History (USNM 289090)

Image processing: Dr. Jessie Maisano
Publication Date: 12 Jan 2009


The imagery on this page is the basis for a paper entitled Morphology of the skull of the white-nosed blindsnake, Liotyphlops albirostris (Scolecophidia: Anomalepididae), by O. Rieppel, N. J. Kley, and J. A. Maisano, 2009 (Journal of Morphology, 270, 536-557). The abstract is as follows:

       This article presents a detailed description and illustration of the skull of Liotyphlops albirostris in        comparison to the skulls of Typhlophis squamosus, Leptotyphlops dulcis, and Typhlops jamaicensis,        based on high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRXCT). The skull of T. squamosus is illustrated        and discussed in detail for the first time. A number of uniquely shared derived characters is identified        that support the monophyly of the clade Anomalepididae. Anomalepidids retain some features that        are plesiomorphic relative to other scolecophidians, such as the presence of a supratemporal (except        in Anomalepis) and ectopterygoid. The homology of the element located posteroventral to the        eyeball in anomalepidids and variably referred to as a jugal or postorbital (or a fusion of both in        Anomalepis) remains unknown. Scolecophidians exhibit a highly derived skull morphology adapted to        head-first burrowing. Both anomalepidids and typhlopids evolved a condition known as an outer shell        design, but did so in different ways. Leptotyphlopids combine elements of both the anomalepidid and        typhlopid snout morphologies.

About the Species

This specimen was collected in the Reserva Biologica Rio Trombetas, Para, Brazil on 3 February 1979. It was made available for scanning by Dr. Jessie Maisano of The University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Kevin de Queiroz of the National Museum of Natural History. Funding for scanning and image processing was provided by a National Science Foundation Assembling the Tree of Life grant (EF-0334961), The Deep Scaly Project: Resolving Squamate Phylogeny using Genomic and Morphological Approaches, to Drs. Jacques Gauthier of Yale University, Maureen Kearney of the Field Museum, Jessie Maisano of The University of Texas at Austin, Tod Reeder of San Diego State University, Olivier Rieppel of the Field Museum, Jack Sites of Brigham Young University, and John Wiens of SUNY Stonybrook.

About this Specimen

The specimen was scanned on a Skyscan 1172 microfocus X-ray CT scanner by Whitey Hagadorn at Amherst College. Each reconstructed slice represents a thickness and spacing of 0.00708 mm.

About the


Anomalepidae page on The TIGR Reptile Database

& Links

Three-dimensional volumetric renderings of the skull with the jaw removed, and of the isolated left mandible. All are 2mb or less.

Skull pitch movie

Skull roll movie

Mandible yaw movie

Mandible pitch movie

Mandible roll movie


To cite this page: Dr. Olivier Rieppel, N.J. Kley and J.A. Maisano, 2009, "Typhlophis squamosus" (On-line), Digital Morphology. Accessed July 22, 2024 at http://digimorph.org/specimens/Typhlophis_squamosus/.

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