Can now live those who lived hundreds of millions of years ago?
Dinosaurs ruled our planet millions of years ago, but now remained only in the form of sets of bones that are in museums. Not long ago, New Zealand researchers have discovered a new descendant of the dinosaurs. Yes, he is alive and well. He's not just kind of vaguely looks like a huge reptile, but also has genetic characteristics that are very much have in common with its prehistoric ancestors. How did it happened that this small animal was able to survive until the present day while dinosaurs could not. Can it be considered a dinosaur himself? And anyway, what happens if we lose it? If we do not stand on the verge of another ”extinction event”?
Once upon a time dinosaurs was a huge biological variation, which were carnivores and herbivores, aquatic and flying, large and small. One of the groups of reptiles at that time was called the Rhynchocephalia and lived around the world. Today it is represented by only one species — the tuatara.
Tuatara live only in New Zealand and are of great value to Maori people. Reptiles have a set of distinctive features. These include the longevity and the combination of morphological features of birds and reptiles. That is why many scientists and researchers have long argued about the place on the evolutionary tree is an animal.
Together with representatives of the Maori people of new Zealand scientists involved in the study of the genome, conducted a study to better understand what a tuatara. Ngatiwai (the Maori) took part in all decision-making processes for this study and laudable as co-authors.
This tuatara. It became the subject of the research scientists at this time.
The Genome is much more of the genome of other vertebrates and even human — about 50%. To explore the genome, the study authors worked hard and with blood, and embryos of tuatara. They also performed a preliminary analysis of the active and inactive sections of the genome and in-depth analysis of repetitive plots. The genome represents a valuable resource for future research on a variety of topics — from the evolution of egg laying to why at once rich in species Rhynchocephalia there is only one surviving representative.
Understanding of what happened with this, not only can give the answers to the questions how to increase life expectancy, but also what is happening with the species. We can better understand how life evolved, and this knowledge can be used to understand and solve such problems as biodiversity loss and climate change.
the Types into one another, but some of them do not change.
Can be tuatara a living fossil? This term refers to species which evolyutsioniruet very slowly and still retains the traits of their ancient ancestors. Usually they are not very interesting to biologists, as it has long been studied and turn to them only when it is necessary to explore something from a bygone era. Tuatara also belong to the fossil and they are very similar to their ancestors from the early Mesozoic era — between 240 and 230 million years ago. However, there is little likelihood that tuatara still evolved more significantly than is commonly thought, after all, left its historical ancestors in order to make a comparison.
However, the authors of the latest study believe that the tuatara has the most of all so far described lepidosauria. These data may indicate that tuatara is really a living fossil and almost in the same form she lived in the time of dinosaurs. What animal is very slow evolyutsioniruet and adapts, making it the most vulnerable to climate warming. This way we can lose the last direct descendant of dinosaurs, which survived until our days.
The Almost complete lack of evolution of this type of the researchers attributed to the fact that the genome of tuatara includes more the number of repeating units. It is much more than the other representatives of vertebrates. And its DNA sequences can move from one position to another. To do this, there is even a special term — transposons.
The Scientists examined the genes associated with vision, olfaction, immunity and thermoregulation of tuatara with similar genes in other animals. It turned out that she's capable of , though, is largely nocturnal. This suggests that over time, the tuatara has adapted to a different time of wakefulness, but its prehistoric ancestor hunted that day — so she had good eyesight. With good vision tuatara during the hunt relies on him and not on smells that she also recognizes.
Hundreds of millions of years ago, our planet was home to a variety of organisms. Some of them are now.
Despite the discoveries that the scientists made, they are notable to decide whether there was in fact two kinds of tuatara. The authors of the study couldn't get great access to the animals due to the fact that they are protected, but some differences Tatar found in different parts of New Zealand, provide an occasion to reflect
Just as genome research has benefited human health and have increased our understanding , the study of other animals can give something else for science. This is especially important in light of the fact that as a result of human activity in a world constantly endangered certain species. While no one knows where it will lead. Therefore, the study of animals that exist millions of years, is very important. But at the same time we got a living dinosaur that survived to the present day. It is also interesting.
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