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rowanlim
02-04-08, 19:05
This ain't an April's Fool Day prank, just an interesting article I'd like to share :D

New Zealand's "living dinosaur," the tuatara, hasn't changed its look in millions of years. But the reptile is actually evolving faster than any other animal studied so far, new DNA analysis reveals.

Scientists recovered DNA from 8,000-year-old tuatara bones and compared it with DNA in blood samples from living tuatara. The modern species is the only surviving member of the order Sphenodontia, which flourished around 200 million years ago.

The results showed that tuatara evolve faster than bears, horses, and many other warm-blooded vertebrates.

Slowpokes

"Tuatara do most things slowly," said study lead author David Lambert of New Zealand's Massey University. He and colleagues published the findings in the March issue of the journal Trends in Genetics.

Tuatara "have a very low metabolic rate. So you would be forgiven for thinking that they haven't been doing very much over 200 million years of evolution."

But Lambert said the reptile's ancient anatomy hides the rapid evolution of DNA within the animals' cells.

"What [the research] is telling us is that the processes that govern anatomical evolution are quite different from those governing molecular evolution."

Axel Meyer, of the University of Konstanz in Germany, agreed.

"There can be a real disconnect" between an animal's physical and genetic evolution rates, said Meyer, who was not involved in the research.

"Fast [evolution] does not necessarily imply 'good' or 'adaptive,'" he added.


More here (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/080331-tuatara-evolution.html)

It just sounds so contradictory...to have the same features after so many years but to be constantly evolving within... ;)

Drone
02-04-08, 19:11
thanks Jo that was interesting :tmb:

remote91
02-04-08, 19:14
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/images/080331-tuatara-evolution_big.jpg

I expected something a little bigger..

Drone
02-04-08, 19:17
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/images/080331-tuatara-evolution_big.jpg

I expected something a little bigger..

they wouldn't have survived if they were bigger ;)

rowanlim
02-04-08, 19:17
^Hahah traditionally bigger organisms will have less offspring & are more susceptible to disease & (in a roundabout way) extinction :p

Shrantellatessa
02-04-08, 19:20
I expected something a little bigger..

You mean like this (http://www.petsnakes.co.uk/Under_The_Spotlight/Diet___Setup/7yr_Old_Iguana/7yr_Old_Male_Iguana_M.jpg) :D

Thanks for the article, Jo :) and you're right Salim :tmb:

remote91
02-04-08, 19:24
You mean like this (http://www.petsnakes.co.uk/Under_The_Spotlight/Diet___Setup/7yr_Old_Iguana/7yr_Old_Male_Iguana_M.jpg) :D

Thanks for the article, Jo :) and you're right Salim :tmb:
Now thats what I'm talkin'bout :D

rowanlim
02-04-08, 19:24
You mean like this (http://www.petsnakes.co.uk/Under_The_Spotlight/Diet___Setup/7yr_Old_Iguana/7yr_Old_Male_Iguana_M.jpg) :D

Thanks for the article, Jo :) and you're right Salim :tmb:

Holy moly that's 1 huge lizard :eek:

I bet that dude can't survive long in the wild ;)

Larapink
02-04-08, 19:26
they wouldn't have survived if they were bigger ;)
Crocodiles were around and still are around the time of the dinosaurs till present time.

rowanlim
02-04-08, 19:32
Crocodiles were around and still are around the time of the dinosaurs till present time.

I believed prehistoric crocodiles were MUCH LARGER than the current descendants. They probably had to shrink in order to survive.

The tuatara has been the same for millions of years. How cool is that? :D

Larapink
02-04-08, 19:36
I believed prehistoric crocodiles were MUCH LARGER than the current descendants. They probably had to shrink in order to survive.

The tuatara has been the same for millions of years. How cool is that? :D
Come to think about it they might have been.

That is very cool! :D

Shrantellatessa
02-04-08, 19:38
Now thats what I'm talkin'bout :D

Holy moly that's 1 huge lizard :eek:

I bet that dude can't survive long in the wild ;)

It's huge, but that's an iguana :p

Drone
02-04-08, 19:55
I believed prehistoric crocodiles were MUCH LARGER than the current descendants True and not only crocodiles. Spiders, rats etc.


Even humans were taller than we are now

Elysia
02-04-08, 19:58
I believed prehistoric crocodiles were MUCH LARGER than the current descendants. They probably had to shrink in order to survive.

The tuatara has been the same for millions of years. How cool is that? :D

Phobosuchus.

What a cool animal... :D I saw a fossilised skull once and seriously had to do a double take. It was MASSIVE.

Larapink
02-04-08, 20:00
True and not only crocodiles. Spiders, rats etc
And saber-toothed tigers now that we know them all as Big Cats and normal domesticated cats.

Drone
02-04-08, 20:05
And saber-toothed tigers now that we know them all as Big Cats and normal domesticated cats.

true and elephants are the mastodons and mamonths offsprings. They are much smaller

rowanlim
03-04-08, 10:04
That's like really amazing right? I think evolution is such a fascinating thing, it happens everywhere all the time ;)

Elysia
03-04-08, 12:49
And saber-toothed tigers now that we know them all as Big Cats and normal domesticated cats.
Nope - common misconception. The sabretoothed cats and modern cats had a common ancestor - sabretooths didn't 'turn into' big cats. Same goes for mammoths and elephants - they have a common ancestor, but are distinct species. One species doesn't just gradually turn into another one. :)

rowanlim
03-04-08, 14:33
I'd like to hear what john-york would say about this...Being a biologist and all :rolleyes:

I agree with Elysia, huge sabre-tooth tigers were WIPED out, they didn't survive an mass extinction. The modern cats today EVOLVED from a feline ancestor, but no, I highly doubt it was the sabre-tooth tiger :D

Drone
03-04-08, 14:39
Nope - common misconception. The sabretoothed cats and modern cats had a common ancestor - sabretooths didn't 'turn into' big cats. Same goes for mammoths and elephants - they have a common ancestor, but are distinct species. One species doesn't just gradually turn into another one. :)

actually I was exactly talking about a common ancestor. Maybe it wasn't that obvious tho :) Thanks for being more concrete