Bruce Museum hosts: How Lizards Turned Into Snakes

Dr. Jack Conrad will tackle questions about how lizards turned into snakes and discuss recent paleontological discoveries during a lecture at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich on Jan. 12, at 7 p.m.

Dr. Conrad is assistant professor at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will explore the evolution and diversity of snakes and other lizards whose origins lie in the Triassic, approximately 245 million years ago. In his talk, titled “The Subtlety of Snakes and a Quarter-billion Years of Lizard Evolution,” Dr. Conrad will review the reptile group known as squamates, which include nearly 10,000 modern species.

They range in size from 1.3 inches (some geckos and chameleons) to the 250-pound Komodo Dragons and 20-foot Green Anacondas. The fossil record shows us that bear-sized lizards recently lived in Australia, 45-foot-long snakes lived in South America 55 million years ago, and bus-sized lizards swam the seas during the time of Tyrannosaurus rex. This amazing group of reptiles is the subject of numerous recent scientific studies and ongoing paleontological, ecological, and even medical research.

The lecture, which complements the exhibition Secrets of Fossil Lake, is free to Bruce Museum members, $15 for non-members. Reservations are required by contacting 203-413-6757 or [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 with light refreshments available.

Copperhead snake from the Bruce Museum Collection.

Copperhead snake from the Bruce Museum Collection.

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