The Lizards With Lime-Green Blood

Раскрыта тайна ящериц с зеленой кровью

Раскрыта тайна ящериц с зеленой кровью

"The green-blooded skinks of New Guinea are fascinating to me as a parasitologist because a similar liver product, bilirubin, is known to be toxic to human malaria parasites", she said. All of the green-blooded species of skinks don't look anything alike and live different lifestyles. Skinks were found to have the highest concentration of biliverdin of any animal, the skinks have developed a resistance to the toxicity of biliverdin. They're still not sure of the benefits of the lizards having the green blood, finding out could give them an idea about human illnesses such as jaundice. Multiple origins of green blood in New Guinea lizards. However, the function of green bile pigment in these lizards is still uncertain. A new study, published yesterday in the journal, Science Advances, suggests this adaptation could offer some sort of advantage from an evolutionary standpoint, but the reason as to why still remains unclear.

A centrifuge can separate the components of lizard blood. Researchers determined that green blood evolved four times.

Their research focused on Prasinohaema, a genus of skink (a type of lizard) that is native to New Guinea. It turned out that numerous species with green blood aren't closely related to one another, and have more in common phylogenetically with red-blooded skinks.

"There really is a fundamental objective of this trait", says Perkins.

This is exactly why we should stay away from the odd lizard.


Austin initially thought that the buildup of biliverdin might deter predators by making the lizards distasteful. They all evolved separately but had a common ancestor with red blood. But Rodriguez says, that can't be it. This suggests that green blood might have been an adaptive reaction, but researchers can not tell why the process had occurred.

Prasinohaema virens, a green-blooded skinkCHRISTOPHER AUSTINTo find out how the trait arose in lizards, Austin and his colleagues examined the genomes of 51 species of skinks, including six with green blood.

He notes that test tube experiments have shown that moderately elevated levels of bilirubin seem to protect against human malaria infection - and hundreds of malaria species are known to infect lizards. The pigment might have caused them to have green blood and green bones, but they became immune to developing adverse reactions to it. Still, they're continuing to explore what kind of relationship there might be between malaria and green blood.

The fact that green blood emerged independently on numerous occasions suggests it may be evolutionarily beneficial, according to the researchers. "Understanding why jaundice is not killing them, will help us to approach some of the problems with human health in an unexpected way", said Rodriguez Zachary (Zachary Rodriguez) from Louisiana state University in Baton Rouge (United States). Slightly elevated levels of bile pigments in other animals, including insects, fish and frogs, have played potentially positive roles in these animals.

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