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Time marches on...

One appointment for estimate canceled and needs rescheduling, one was done yesterday (still awaiting estimates), one coming up today. Will I get a new garage door before the old one collapses in a heap? Stay tuned...

Mommy, the platypuses are being weird again... :)


Poisonous platypuses confirm convergent evolution
Genome analysis shows that the monotremes and snakes have similar venoms.

Ewen Callaway - Nature news

Don't be fooled by the playful-looking duck's bill — platypuses deliver a venom containing more than 80 different toxins.

The finding, from an analysis of the genes encoding the dangerous mixture, also reveals the striking similarities between the poisons of different animals. The genes resemble those of other venomous animals, such as snakes, lizards, starfish and sea anemones.

Like eyes, fins and wings, which have evolved independently in a number of different lineages, platypus venom looks to be an example of convergent evolution, says Wesley Warren, a genomicist at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, who led the study, published in the journal Genome Biology.

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