Naja romani is an extinct species of cobra from the Miocene of Europe. Its stays were discovered from France to Russia and recommend a endured expansion to bigger sizes all through its vary in time. Whilst successfull all over the early and heart phases of the Miocene, the species disappeared from the fossil document of Central Europe all over the past due Miocene with the ultimate recognized specimen being recovered from a web site within the trendy Caucasus, inferred to were a safe haven for reptiles. Estimates recommend that Naja romani can have reached a duration of over 2 m (6 toes 7 in).
Historical past and naming
Naja romani used to be first described via Hofstetter within the 12 months 1939 at the foundation of a number of cranial and postcranial stays from L. a. Grive-Saint Alban in France. Hofstetter coined the identify Palaeonaja romani in addition to Palaeonaja crassa. Later Szyndlar & Rage sunk Palaeonaja into the extant Naja whilst figuring out that P. crassa does no longer fluctuate considerably sufficient to be regarded as a definite species. Further circumstances of Naja romani had been later reported from more than a few localities throughout Europe. Fossils from Austria had in the past been regarded as to be their very own species, Naja austriaca, however had been later deemed to be indistinguishable from the ones of Naja romani. The newest in finding assigned to the species used to be accrued in 2009 within the Caucasus and shaped the youngest document of Naja romani.
The species used to be named in honor of French geologist Frédéric Roman.
The sort specimen of Naja romani used to be decided to have reached a duration of one.80 m (5 toes 11 in) via Hoffstetter. Hoffstetter additionally estimated a duration of over 2 m (6 toes 7 in) for the bigger stays he named Naja crassa, that have been later discovered to additionally belong to Naja romani. A good higher dimension is indicated via the youngest stays assigned to the species, alternatively no exact estimates are given.
Inside Naja two distinct lineages can also be noticed, an Asian lineage in addition to an African lineage (which is additional divided into Afronaja, Boulengerina and Uraeus). Each teams can also be outstanding via the anatomy of the basisphenoid, which is distinctly narrower sooner than the basipterygoid crest, has shorter vidian canals and anterior orifices at the ventral slightly than the dorsal floor. Those traits are shared via Naja romani, obviously hanging it within the Asian department of the genus. A 2nd persona that might permit project to probably the most two branches will be the location of the vestibular window. Alternatively that is handiest imaginable within the French specimens, which toughen the identity of Naja romani as a member of the Asian lineage. Szyndlar and Zerova conclude that the species used to be most probably an early member of the Asian team, however surely diverged from the opposite species after the Asian-African break up.
The earliest recorded specimens of Naja romani date to the Burdigalian (MN 4) and had been found out in Petersbuch, Germany, with similarily elderly stays tentatively referred to the taxon additionally being present in Vieux-Collonges (France, MN 4/5). By way of the center and past due Miocene Naja romani may be present in Grund (Austria, MN 5), L. a. Grive-Saint Alban (France, MN 7+8), Gritsev and Rudabánya (Ukraine and Hungary, MN 9),Ravin de l. a. Pluie (Greece, MN 10) and Kohfidisch (Austria, MN11). Ongoing local weather alternate alternatively most probably result in the extinction of cobras in central Europe via the most recent Miocene, with the specimens from Kohfidisch being the ultimate recognized stays of the species from the area. Cobras did alternatively arrange to live on in different areas of Europe and the ultimate recognized information of Naja romani had been present in Solnechnodolsk within the northern Caucasus in strata courting to the past due Turolian (MN 13). Particularly alternatively, regardless of being recognized to maintain a wealthy and numerous reptile fauna, just a unmarried bone of Naja romani is understood from the area, indicating that the species used to be already declining on this a part of the arena as neatly.
This trend of distribution and disappearance suits the climatic adjustments that occured in Europe all over the Miocene round the similar time because the Messinian Salinity Disaster. Even supposing temperatures remained favorable all over the most recent phases of the Miocene, the snake fauna of the continent is understood to have skilled a lack of variety. In central Europe specifically temperatures started to drop all over the Heart Miocene, inflicting the formation of distinct local weather zones confronted with regional extinctions that limited positive snakes to the hotter areas of western Europe (France and Spain) and southern Europe (Greece and Turkey). The locality in Solnechnodolsk used to be most probably a refugium no longer only for Naja romani but additionally for different species of reptiles that had long past extinct in different places in Europe. More youthful stays of cobras, which can be recognized from the Pliocene of Spain, were proven to be unrelated to Naja romani and as a substitute are regarded as individuals of the African-lineage that most probably entered Europe following the drying of the Mediterranean.
It’s been urged via Syromyatnikova, Tesakov & Titov that Naja romani grew greater because the Miocene advanced, with specimens from Petersbuch and Vieux-Collonges being normally smaller than more youthful fossils, which reached their biggest dimension with the ones present in Kohfidisch and Solnechnodolski. The precise ecology of Naja romani isn’t recognized, despite the fact that the species is regarded as thermophilous like maximum different Asian Naja species except for the Caspian cobra. In line with the presence of Naja romani in addition to that of observe lizards, an average annual temperature of 15°C or extra is estimated for the Solnechnodosk locality, suggesting subtropical prerequisites.
- Rage, J.; Szyndlar, Z. (1990). “West Palearctic cobras of the genus Naja (Serpentes: Elapidae): interrelationships amongst extinct and extant species”. Amphibia-Reptilia. 11 (4): 385–400. doi:10.1163/156853890X00078.
- Szyndlar, Z.; Zerova, G.A. (1987). “Neogene Cobras of the Genus Naja (Serpentes: Elapidae) of East Europe/Neogene Kobras der Gattung Naja (Serpentes: Elapidae) aus Osteuropa”. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien. Serie A für Mineralogie und Petrographie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Anthropologie und Prähistorie. 91: 53–61.
- Syromyatnikova, E.; Tesakov, A.; Titov, V. (2021). “Naja romani (Hoffstetter, 1939)(Serpentes: Elapidae) from the past due Miocene of the Northern Caucasus: the ultimate East Eu huge cobra”. Geodiversitas. 43 (19): 683–689. doi:10.5252/geodiversitas2021v43a19.
- Hoffstetter, Robert (1939). “Contribution à l’étude des Elapidae actuels et fossiles et de l’ostéologie des ophidiens” (PDF). Publications du musée des Confluences. 15 (1): 1–78.
- Szyndlar, Z. (2003). “Snake fauna from the Overdue Miocene of Rudabánya” (PDF). RACCOLTA DI MONOGRAFIE PALEONTOLOGICHE. 90: 31–52.