Oct 8, 2021

Scientists pinpoint evolutionary genes that allow lizards to give birth like mammals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

Dr. Hans Recknagel, who led the field and genome research during his Ph.D. and postdoctoral research, said: This was fascinating research, not least because in this species of lizard egg-laying populations still occur and interbreed with live-bearing ones.

Scientists studying the evolution of birth in lizards, from egg-laying to live births, have pinpointed the evolutionary genes from which the species is evolving to ‘build’ a new mode of reproduction.

The study—led by the University of Glasgow and published in Nature Ecology and Evolution —found that a significantly similar amount of the same genes involved in the pregnancy of lizards were shared with other mammals and live-bearing vertebrates.

Evolving from egg-laying to live birth—also known as viviparity—is a major evolutionary step; however, it is almost impossible to study the genes that lead to such major changes because when animals have evolved live-birth it was usually in the distant past.

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