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Jawless Evolution Explained

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#1 Moontanman



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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:30 PM

Jawless evolution explained

A new genetic analysis tips the scales to one side of a long-term debate on the evolution of jawless vertebrates

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Genetic evidence is laying to rest a long-standing argument over the evolution of jawless vertebrates -- hagfish and lampreys -- and providing insights regarding the common ancestor of all vertebrates.

For years, biologists have debated the origins of jawless vertebrates -- molecular biologists have argued that molecular evidence shows they are each other's closest relatives, while morphologists maintained that detailed anatomical features suggest lampreys were more closely related to jawed vertebrates.

In the most recent study, published Monday (18 October) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), scientists on opposite sides of the argument looked at microRNA data, and found jawless vertebrates are indeed monophyletic, meaning they evolved from a common ancestor not shared by jawed vertebrates.

Read more: Jawless evolution explained - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences http://www.the-scien.../#ixzz12pPfeKLY