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Venomous snakes, such as the rattlesnake shown above, are the most well-known venomous squamates.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Sauropsida
Subclass: Diapsida
Infraclass: Lepidosauromorpha
Superorder: Lepidosauria
Order: Squamata
(unranked): Toxicofera

Toxicofera (Greek or Latin for "those who carry toxins"), is a hypothetical clade of living Squamata (lizards and snakes). It includes about 4600 living species. This is all venomous reptile species, plus related non-venomous species.[1]

The clade was identified when research showed that the evolution of venom was very ancient, and that it might have occurred only once.[2][3][4]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Fry B. et al. 2006. "Early evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes" (PDF). Nature 439 (7076): 584–588. doi:10.1038/nature04328. PMID 16292255.
  2. Fry B. et al. 2003. "Molecular evolution and phylogeny of elapid snake venom three-finger toxins" (PDF). Journal of Molecular Evolution 57 (1): 110–129. doi:10.1007/s00239-003-2461-2. PMID 12962311.
  3. Fry, B. et al. 2003. "Isolation of a neurotoxin (α-colubritoxin) from a nonvenomous colubrid: evidence for early origin of venom in snakes" (PDF). Journal of Molecular Evolution 57 (4): 446–452. doi:10.1007/s00239-003-2497-3. PMID 14708577.
  4. Fry B. and Wüster W. 2004. "Assembling an arsenal: origin and evolution of the snake venom proteome inferred from phylogenetic analysis of toxin sequences" (PDF). Molecular Biology and Evolution 21 (5): 870–883. doi:10.1093/molbev/msh091. PMID 15014162.