Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Why Humans Don't Have Tails

In the article titled “A genetic parasite may explain why humans and other apes lack tails”, the author explains that a jumping gene or Alu element is a parasite that is possibly responsible for the evolution of apes and humans not having tails like monkeys do. The article shows that research was conducted on mice and when the TBXT protein, which is responsible for tail growth, was altered, mice would be born with a shortened tail or no tail at all. This supports the hypothesis that a parasite could be responsible for tail loss in apes and humans because the parasite would also result in an altered TBXT protein. 

This is a really interesting hypothesis about why humans are born without tails. At first, I did not think a parasite would be responsible for such a huge evolutionary change and thought this article would be fake or clickbait. After reading about the mice experiment in the article, I think this is a very likely theory and that a parasite could very well have caused this mutation 25 million years ago.

1 comment:

  1. this is so interesting to hear about! Originally, I just thought that humans currently don't have tails as a result from mutations that have evolved over the years. I never would have thought that a parasite would be the cause. Great post!