Archive Pages Design$type=blogging

Gene Study Surprisingly Links Tasmanian Tigers to Wolves

Everyone’s favorite extinct-but-maybe-not animal just got a strange and unexpected new branch on its evolutionary chain. Genetic researcher...


Everyone’s favorite extinct-but-maybe-not animal just got a strange and unexpected new branch on its evolutionary chain. Genetic researchers studying the extinct Tasmanian tiger or thylacine have discovered that the creature shared more than just its uncanny looks (minus the stripes) with the wolf (Canis lupus) – they share DNA elements that explains their surprising similarities despite evolving independently for over 160 million years. Will this new information help bring the thylacine back from extinction? Or does it bode poorly for the future of the similarly threatened and hunted wolf?

“The thylacine and placental canids such as wolves, dogs and foxes, are perhaps the most striking example of convergent evolution. Through this process, distantly related animals can evolve similar forms in response to shared environmental challenges.”

In a recent article in Pursuit (published by the University of Melbourne), Dr Charles Feigin of Princeton University and the University of Melbourne describes the results of a study he conducted with fellow professor Andrew Pask which was published in the journal Genome Research. He points out the obvious puzzling question – how did a marsupial and a placental (animal whose fetus is carried in the uterus) evolve to look and behave in such a strikingly similar manner? The simple answer is “convergent evolution” – the process by which distinct species in completely different environments can develop similar traits not found in their last common ancestor. In the case of the wolf and the Tasmanian tiger, both evolved to become top-of-the-heap predators with “nearly identical skull shapes with similar biomechanical properties.”

How did this happen? After creating the first genome sequence from the DNA of a thylacine in 2018, Feigin and Pask found no clues as to why Thylacinus cynocephalus (roughly translated as ‘pouched dog-head’) was so close to Canis lupus. They then turned to non-coding DNA which is now known to regulate genes during development. There they found “hundreds of non-coding DNA elements in the thylacine and wolf.”

“These elements, called ‘TWARs’ (thylacine-wolf accelerated regions), show evidence of natural selection in both species, but lay outside of the much-better understood protein-coding regions of the genome. TWARs were particularly abundant near genes involved in the development of bone, cartilage and muscles of the facial region.”

Aha! This discovery shows that genes played a much more important role in the development of the two species than natural selection or environmental influence and changes. And, because non-coding DNA is less influenced by mutations, it preserved these common traits right up until current times – well, at least until the thylacine became extinct in 1936.


Is this a big deal?

“Little was documented about the thylacine’s hunting or social behaviours before their untimely extinction, but these signatures of convergent evolution present the tantalising possibility that these distant cousins may have shared more than just their looks.”

Future researchers may use these results to fill in the gaps in the thylacine’s evolutionary history. Will it help bring them back? That could be tough, since genetic scientists would still have to deal with the major differences between these dog-headed marsupials and placentals. Will it help bring back the Tasmania tiger? Well, knowing it’s closer to the wolf than once thought, it might help figure out where they’re hiding.

There’s always hope.



Âm Nhạc Ẩm Thực Angela Phương Trinh Angelina Jolie Bảo Thy benh-gan Bộ Ảnh - Video Brad Pitt Bùa Ngải Bước Nhảy Hoàn Vũ cac-benh-ve-gan Cao Thái Sơn Chi Pu Chuyện chỉ có ở Trung Quốc Chuyện kỳ lạ về trẻ em Chuyện Lạ Chuyện lạ bốn phương chọn lọc Chuyện lạ cảm động về các loài vật Chuyện lạ khó tin nhưng lại có thật Chuyện lạ ở Nhật Bản Chuyện lạ thế giới khó tin nhưng có thật Chuyện lạ về các loài vật Chuyện lạ về các tài năng hiếm có Chuyện lạ về chó và mèo Chuyện lạ về du lịch Chuyện lạ về hôn nhân - vợ chồng Chuyện lạ về những kỷ lục giảm cân Chuyện lạ về sữa Chuyện lạ Việt Nam có thật Cine Cộng Đồng Mạng Công Nghệ Cung Hoàng Đạo Cường Đô La Đàm Vĩnh Hưng Đàn Ông Đặng Thu Thảo dang-mieng Đĩa Bay Diễm My 9x Điện Ảnh Diệp Lâm Anh Đỗ Mạnh Cường Đời Sống doi-song Đông Nhi Đồng Tính Động Vật Du Lịch Đức Phúc fashion Gay Giảm cân Giáo Dục Giới Trẻ Hồ Ngọc Hà Hoa Hậu Hòa Minzy Hoài Linh Hoàng Thùy Linh Học Tiếng Anh hoc-duong Hot News HotNews Hương Giang Idol Hương Tràm Huỳnh Hiểu Minh Issac Jennifer Phạm Jessica Minh Anh Kenbi Khánh Phạm Khám Phá kham-pha Khánh Hiền Khmer News khoa-hoc khoa-hoc-cong-nghe Khoảnh Khắc Lan Khuê Lazada Lê Xuân Tiền Lều Phương Anh Linh Nga Lý Hải Mai Phương Thúy Maria Ozawa Mẹo Vặt Midu Minh Hằng Miu Lê Món ngon mỗi ngày Mọt Phim Musik Mỹ Linh Mỹ Tâm News Ngô Kiến Huy Ngọc Trinh Người ngoài hành tinh Nhật Kim Anh Những chuyện kỳ quặc trên thế giới Những hiện tượng bí ẩn và khó hiểu Những người có khả năng đặc biệt Noo Phước Thịnh Ốc Thanh Vân oto-xe-may Phạm Băng Băng Phạm Hương Phẫu Thuật Thẩm Mỹ Phong cách Phượng Channel Pokémon Go Quang Dũng Sao Shopping Sĩ Thanh Sơn Tùng M-TP sport Star Sức Khỏe suc-khoe suc-khoe-gioi-tinh Tâm Linh Tâm Sự Tăng Thanh Hà Taylor Swift Thanh Hằng Thành Lộc Thanh Thảo The Face - Gương mặt thương hiệu Thể Hình The Remix – Hòa Âm Ánh Sáng the-gioi Thời Trang Thu Minh Thu Phương Thượng Ẩn Thúy Nga Tin Nổi Bật Tin Nóng Tin Thế Giới Tin Trong Nước Tình Yêu Tom Cruise Trà Ngọc Hằng Trấn Thành Trường Giang Trương Nam Thành Tử Vi tv-show UFO Ung Thư Video Việt Hương Vietnam's Next Top Model Vĩnh Thụy Võ Cảnh Võ Hoàng Yến Vũ Khắc Tiệp Vũ Ngọc Anh Vũ Ngọc Đãng xa-hoi xe xo-gan Xu Hướng - Làm Đẹp
GIẢI TRÍ SAO 24H: Gene Study Surprisingly Links Tasmanian Tigers to Wolves
Gene Study Surprisingly Links Tasmanian Tigers to Wolves
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All BÀI CÙNG CHỦ ĐỀ LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago