Scientists decode Platypus genomeMikey 10 comments
For the benefit of our non-Australian audience, let me tell you a little about the seemingly botched freak of nature that is our native Platypus, and why decoding its genome is significant.
The Platypus is one of natures paradoxes and it's often been mused as being something God created as a joke.
It is classified as a mammal because it produces milk and has a thick coat of fur. But unlike a mammal, the female lays eggs like a reptile, and the male can attack with a vemon concealed under its back feet. It has webbed feet like a bird and a bill like a duck, and uses electroreception to track prey underwater like a shark even with its eyes ears and nostrils closed.
So now its DNA has been decoded, Oxford University's Scientist Chris Ponting and Richard Wilson say:
"The platypus genome is extremely important, because it is the missing link in our understanding of how we and other mammals first evolved...This is our ticket back in time to when all mammals laid eggs while suckling their young on milk."
"By comparing the platypus genome to other mammalian genomes, we'll be able to study genes that have been conserved throughout evolution"