- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Snake proteins have gone through massive evolutionary redesign
Snakes are an exception. A new study by Todd Castoe and Zhi Jiang at the University of Colorado has shown that the lifestyle of serpents is so unique that some of their core proteins, which vary very little in other animal species, have gone through massive changes. These bursts of evolution have been so dramatic that Castoe and Jiang refer to them as “evolutionary redesigns”.
The proteins in question are all involved in aerobic metabolism, the breakdown of molecules like sugars and fats in the presence of oxygen to release energy. Large-scale changes in these proteins may have contributed to the incredible metabolic abilities of snakes, which are unique in the animal world.
Snakes can go for a