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  1. #1
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    God's Strangest Creature

    Can you top this?
    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5...0nItDWkpNMYCxA

    Neither fish nor fowl: Platypus genome decoded

    22 hours ago
    PARIS (AFP) — Arguably the oddest beast in Nature's menagerie, the platypus looks as it if were assembled from spare parts left over after the animal kingdom was otherwise complete.
    Now scientists know why. According to a study released Wednesday, the egg-laying critter is a genetic potpourri -- part bird, part reptile and part lactating mammal.
    The task of laying bare the platypus genome of 2.2 billion base pairs spread across 18,500 genes has taken several years, but will do far more than satisfy the curiosity of just biologists, say the researchers.
    "The platypus genome is extremely important, because it is the missing link in our understanding of how we and other mammals first evolved," explained Oxford University's Chris Ponting, one of the study's architects.
    "This is our ticket back in time to when all mammals laid eggs while suckling their young on milk."
    Native to eastern Australia and Tasmania, the semi-aquatic platypus is thought to have split off from a common ancestor shared with humans approximately 170 million years ago.
    The creature is so strange that when the first stuffed specimens arrived in Europe at the end of the 18th century, biologists believed they were looking at a taxidermist's hoax, a composite stitched together from the body of a beaver and the snout of a giant duck.
    But the peculiar mix of body features are clearly reflected in the animal's DNA, the study found.
    The platypus is classified as a mammal because it produces milk and is covered in coat of thick fur, once prized by hunters.
    Lacking teats, the female nurses pups through the skin covering its abdomen.
    But there are reptile-like attributes too: females lay eggs, and males can stab aggressors with a snake-like venom that flows from a spur tucked under its hind feet.
    The bird-like qualities implied by its Latin name, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, include webbed feet, a flat bill similar to a duck's, and the gene sequences that determine sex. Whereas humans have two sex chromosomes, platypuses have 10, the study showed.
    "It is much more of a melange than anyone expected," commented Ewan Birney, who led the genome analysis at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge.
    The animal also possesses a feature unique to monotremes -- an order including a handful of egg-laying mammals -- called electroreception.
    With their eyes, ears and nostrils closed, platypuses rely on sensitive electrosensory receptors tucked inside their bills to track prey underwater, detecting electrical fields generated by muscular contraction.
    "By comparing the platypus genome to other mammalian genomes, we'll be able to study genes that have been conserved throughout evolution," said senior author Richard Wilson, a researcher at Washington University.
    In captivity, platypuses have lived up to 17 years of age.
    In the wild, they feed on worms, insect larvae, shrimps and crayfish, eating up to 20 percent of their body weight every day.
    Males grow to a length of 50 centimetres (20 inches) and weigh about two kilos (4.5 pounds), with females about 20 percent shorter and lighter.
    The genome sequenced for the study belongs to a female specimen from New South Wales nicknamed Glennie and can be accessed at www.ncbi.nih.gov/Genbank.


    Last edited by Wesley; 05-08-2008 at 12:30 PM.
    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

  2. #2
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Wow, there must have been a bird, mammal or reptile with serious beer goggles back in the day.



  3. #3
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    For others, did you think this was a thread about Hawk fans? This story was a shrine to the immortal platypus.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Strange...strange



  5. #5
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Ehhh...I already knew all this



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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Can we call it Evolution's strangest creature?



  7. #7
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Jeez how bizarre!

    I nominate the Tamarin as second strangest creature!





    While on live TV, Ford used a vulgar term to describe a private part of the female anatomy, adding that he was “happily married” and “got more than enough to eat at home.”

  8. #8
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Hmmmm, that is strange. Has anyone seen what Wilfred Brimley's been up to?



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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Quote Originally Posted by Wx4Cy View Post
    Can we call it Evolution's strangest creature?
    That would be the Hawkeye fan, otherwise known as the missing link.


    Since we are an elite team now, let's go get that One Cyclone Moment.
    Make this one for the ages!




    http://rememberingdoria.wordpress.com/

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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    "But the peculiar mix of body features are clearly reflected in the animal's DNA, the study found."

    Well, duh.


    "THE SKIES SHALL RAIN BLOOD AND ALL THE WORLD SHALL QUAKE IN THE SHADOW OF THE CARDINAL AND GOLD!"

  11. #11
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    We sincerely apologize to all Platypus enthusiasts out there who are offended by the thoughtless comments about Platypi in this thread. We at CycloneFanatic respect the noble Platypus, and it is not our intention to slight these stupid creatures in any way.


    I don't think I'm alone when I say I'd like to see more and more planets fall under the ruthless domination of our solar system.

  12. #12
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    This creature goes three ways - awesome. Ten sex chromosomes. Can mate with anything. Multipurpose mating machine (MMM).

    Reminds me of the car that rides on water and can fly.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

  13. #13
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    Can you top this?
    AFP: Neither fish nor fowl: Platypus genome decoded

    Neither fish nor fowl: Platypus genome decoded

    22 hours ago
    PARIS (AFP) — Arguably the oddest beast in Nature's menagerie, the platypus looks as it if were assembled from spare parts left over after the animal kingdom was otherwise complete.
    Now scientists know why. According to a study released Wednesday, the egg-laying critter is a genetic potpourri -- part bird, part reptile and part lactating mammal.
    The task of laying bare the platypus genome of 2.2 billion base pairs spread across 18,500 genes has taken several years, but will do far more than satisfy the curiosity of just biologists, say the researchers.
    "The platypus genome is extremely important, because it is the missing link in our understanding of how we and other mammals first evolved," explained Oxford University's Chris Ponting, one of the study's architects.
    "This is our ticket back in time to when all mammals laid eggs while suckling their young on milk."
    Native to eastern Australia and Tasmania, the semi-aquatic platypus is thought to have split off from a common ancestor shared with humans approximately 170 million years ago.
    The creature is so strange that when the first stuffed specimens arrived in Europe at the end of the 18th century, biologists believed they were looking at a taxidermist's hoax, a composite stitched together from the body of a beaver and the snout of a giant duck.
    But the peculiar mix of body features are clearly reflected in the animal's DNA, the study found.
    The platypus is classified as a mammal because it produces milk and is covered in coat of thick fur, once prized by hunters.
    Lacking teats, the female nurses pups through the skin covering its abdomen.
    But there are reptile-like attributes too: females lay eggs, and males can stab aggressors with a snake-like venom that flows from a spur tucked under its hind feet.
    The bird-like qualities implied by its Latin name, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, include webbed feet, a flat bill similar to a duck's, and the gene sequences that determine sex. Whereas humans have two sex chromosomes, platypuses have 10, the study showed.
    "It is much more of a melange than anyone expected," commented Ewan Birney, who led the genome analysis at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge.
    The animal also possesses a feature unique to monotremes -- an order including a handful of egg-laying mammals -- called electroreception.
    With their eyes, ears and nostrils closed, platypuses rely on sensitive electrosensory receptors tucked inside their bills to track prey underwater, detecting electrical fields generated by muscular contraction.
    "By comparing the platypus genome to other mammalian genomes, we'll be able to study genes that have been conserved throughout evolution," said senior author Richard Wilson, a researcher at Washington University.
    In captivity, platypuses have lived up to 17 years of age.
    In the wild, they feed on worms, insect larvae, shrimps and crayfish, eating up to 20 percent of their body weight every day.
    Males grow to a length of 50 centimetres (20 inches) and weigh about two kilos (4.5 pounds), with females about 20 percent shorter and lighter.
    The genome sequenced for the study belongs to a female specimen from New South Wales nicknamed Glennie and can be accessed at www.ncbi.nih.gov/Genbank.

    Awesome!!! We found the "missing link"....No God!!!



  14. #14
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Hmmmm, that is strange. Has anyone seen what Wilfred Brimley's been up to?
    That's easy, he's been rapping
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILIvPzyK_8I]YouTube - Wilford Brimley's DIABETES DANCE MIX[/ame]

    Beetis beetis, diabetes...



  15. #15
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    Re: God's Strangest Creature

    What other mammals lay eggs?



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