Research in mutant mice has shown that these two mammalian features are controlled by the same gene, MSX2, which also controls the development of the mammary glands and the maintenance of body hairs. “This is the gene that makes us mammals” Benoit says.
Based on the CT based anatomical observations in probainognathians, it appears that the MSX2 gene underwent a significant change in its expression 240-246 million years ago and triggered the evolution of many typical mammalian traits including hair and whiskers, an enlarged cerebellum, complete ossification of the skull roof, and more importantly, the mammary glands,
that define mammals today.
“Our research has shown that these features of mammals were already present in advanced therapsids, prior to the appearance of mammals,” says Benoit. “It also has implications for understanding how mammals survived the domination of dinosaurs during the Mesozoic period and the subsequent evolutionary success of mammals.” More.
See also: Mammals almost wiped out dinosaurs anyway? “different evolutionary experiments”? “evolution was more likely to stumble across new evolutionary paths” ? So “evolution” is a person now? Well yes, of course. Always has been. The no-design Designer.
Follow UD News at Twitter!