Sunday, July 14, 2024

Genes That Allowed Whales To Reach Gigantic Sizes Discovered

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Researchers have discovered four genes that have allowed whales to reach enormous sizes in comparison to their ancestors.

The scientists, whose findings were recently published in Scientific Reports, found that while whales, dolphins and porpoises evolved from small land-based creatures millions of years ago, the presence of four genes called GHSR, IGFBP7, NCAPG and PLAG1 has allowed whales to reach epic proportions while reducing some of the major drawbacks of being enormous.

Often growing to enormous size brings with it risks like cancer; however, it seems (albeit it is unclear how) that the genes in whales drive the growth and mitigate some of the associated risks.

The scientists looked at 19 species of whales, including seven that reach a length of over 10 meters/33ft. They found evolutionary selection for all four genes in most species, including the blue, fin, humpback and gray whale.

You can find the original study here.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmyhttps://www.deeperblue.com
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for DeeperBlue.com

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