“There is nothing quite as enigmatic as a platypus”
May 8, 2008 9:09 PM Subscribe
It turns out if it looks like a duck it's partly a duck.
posted by Large Marge (46 comments total)
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A bunch of scientist got together and set about to decode the platypus genome, and guess what!?! "What we found was the genome, just like the animal, is an amazing amalgam of reptilian and mammal characteristics with quite a few unique platypus characteristics as well
". “You have got these reptilian repeat patterns and these more recently evolved milk genes and independent evolution of the venom. It all points to how idiosyncratic evolution is.” “We have microRNAs that are shared with chickens and not mammals as well as ones that are shared with mammals, but not chickens.” Also, apparently, male platypi have venomous spikes
on their heels that can kill dogs!
For those who can't access this really really awesome Nature write up
here's a really cool factoid: every sperm gets a set of all Xs or all Ys. Despite the similar designations, none of the platypus X chromosomes resembles the human, dog or mouse X. “The sex chromosomes are absolutely, completely different from all other mammals. We had not expected that”