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Scientists have discovered why humans lack a tail through genes


Apr 2, 2024

In the evolution of great apes, the tail was left behind on the way. This is what a geneticist in the United States discovered when studying a gene affecting tail development in mice. Humans also grow a tail during the fetal period but it disappears, leaving only the coccyx.

The research group bred genetically modified mice with the same form of the gene as humans and gorillas and found that these mice did not grow tails. This discovery was recently published in the journal Nature, indicating that some ancient primate with a tail had a gene that evolved around 25 million years ago, leading to the development of tailless monkeys and great apes.

This ancestral connection is reflected in genetics, with up to 70% of human genes being similar to zebrafish genes. The study sheds light on the evolutionary history of great apes and humans, showing how certain genetic changes led to the loss of the tail in these species.

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