Platypus Genome Reveals Secrets of Mammal Evolution
The duck-billed mammal is related to reptiles and birds, a study finds.
The genome of the platypus—our most distant mammal relative—has been decoded and analyzed, researchers reported today.
The duck-billed mammal has a genetic affinity with both reptiles and birds, according to a new study.
Decoding the platypus genome has long been an important goal for biologists seeking to understand the origins of mammal evolution.
The study, appearing in today's edition of the journal Nature, gives scientists a new window into the genetic architecture of the earliest mammals.
"The platypus genome, like the animal itself, is an amazing amalgam of reptile-like and mammal-like features," said project co-leader Jennifer Graves, of the Australian National University in Canberra.
The analysis confirms that the platypus was the earliest offshoot of the mammalian family tree, Graves noted.