Photo Credit: Mark Dumont/Flikr/Wikipedia
A new study into the DNA of the Komodo dragon claims to provide insight into the “positive selection” adaptive evolution of the unique monitor lizard with a metabolism similar to that of mammals. Christian researchers, however, state that the study doesn’t point to evolution at all, but rather demonstrates the handiwork of the Creator.
The study was conducted by Gladstone Institutes, which worked with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Zoo Atlanta to analyze the venomous cold-blooded predators. Scientists used blood samples from two Komodo dragons at Zoo Atlanta — Slasher and Rinca — to map out their genome sequence.
While most reptiles usually become tired after exerting energy, Komodo dragons — which can weigh up to 200 pounds and can detect prey from over seven miles away — have great endurance and speed and a metabolism that is more akin to warm-blooded creatures. Researchers wanted to find out why and to study what they characterized as the “evolution” of the lizard’s DNA.
“We started the project nine years ago to look at how genomes evolve, but to do so, we needed the genome sequences first,” Gladstone Senior Investigator Benoit Bruneau, one of the authors of the study, said in a statement. “At the time, other groups had sequenced the turtle genome, snake and bird genomes, and the crocodile genome was in process, but the missing branch was the varanid lizards — the family to which Komodo dragons belong.”
“Reptiles are kind of
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