A Question Hidden in the Platypus Genome: Are We the Weird Ones?


Researchers have produced the most comprehensive platypus genome yet, as well as that of another monotreme, an echidna.

Is the platypus the paragon of mammals?

Researchers have produced the most comprehensive genomes yet of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus). The only two extant monotremes (egg-laying mammals) are sometimes seen as the odd ones out of the mammal world. But because they diverged from other mammals so early — about 187 million years ago — some of their most bizarre traits might reflect those of our shared ancestors. “In my opinion, among mammals, the platypus is the most fascinating species of all,” says genomicist Wesley Warren. “They represent the ancestral state of what terrestrial mammal genomes could have been before adapting to various environments.”

More: A Question Hidden in the Platypus Genome: Are We the Weird Ones?

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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