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Anomochilus leonardi, Dwarf Pipe Snake
Dr. Olivier Rieppel - Field Museum of Natural History
Dr. Jessie Maisano, The University of Texas at Austin
Anomochilus leonardi
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Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM 0026)

Image processing: Dr. Jessie Maisano
Publication Date: 23 Apr 2007


The imagery on this page is the basis for a paper entitled The Skull of the Rare Malaysian Snake Anomochilus leonardi Smith, based on High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography, by O. Rieppel and J.A. Maisano (2007, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 149:671-685). The abstract is as follows:

       The skull of the rare Malaysian snake Anomochilus leonardi is described in detail on the basis of a        high-resolution X-ray computed tomographic scan of a mature specimen. Its skull anatomy is compared        with that of Anomochilus weberi, as well as with that of scolecophidians and basal alethinophidians        such as Anilius, Cylindrophis, uropeltines and selected Booidea. Anomochilus leonardi is found to be        more paedomorphic than Anomochilus weberi. The genus Anomochilus most closely resembles        uropeltines in skull anatomy. Both Anomochilus and uropeltines develop a ‘central rod design’ of skull        morphology, which requires the presence of medial frontal pillars, in adaptation to burrowing habits.        These pillars are an alethinophidian characteristic, absent in the skull of scolecophidians, which        develop an ‘outer shell design’ in adaptation to burrowing. These results are discussed in the light of        the hypothesis that scolecophidians and basal (i.e. non-macrostomatan) alethinophidians are        ‘regressed macrostomatans’.

About the Species

This specimen was found on the balcony of a two-story house within the campus of the Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, Selangor State. It is suspected that the specimen was accidentally dropped by a bird. It was made available to The University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility for scanning by Dr. Norsham Suhaina Yaakob of the Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Dr. Jessie Maisano of The University of Texas at Austin, and Mr. Alan Resetar of the Field Museum. 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 by Matthew Colbert on 29 September 2004 along the coronal axis for a total of 553 slices. Each 1024x1024 pixel slice is 0.014 mm thick, with an interslice spacing of 0.014 mm and a field of reconstruction of 5.5 mm.

About the


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& Links

Three-dimensional volumetric renderings of the skull with the jaw removed, and of the isolated left mandible. All are less than 2mb except skull roll movie, which is 3mb.

Skull yaw movie

Skull pitch movie

Skull roll movie

Mandible yaw movie

Mandible pitch movie

Mandible roll movie


To cite this page: Dr. Olivier Rieppel, Dr. Jessie Maisano, The University of Texas at Austin, 2007, "Anomochilus leonardi" (On-line), Digital Morphology. Accessed October 30, 2014 at http://digimorph.org/specimens/Anomochilus_leonardi/.

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