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Why snakes are so long?

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Now that we think about it … From Independent:

A quirk of evolution means a particular gene stays ‘switched on’ for longer than usual during snakes’ embryonic development

Dr Rita Aires, from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC) in Lisbon, Portugal, said: “The formation of different body regions works as a strong-arm contest of genes. Genes involved in trunk formation need to start ceasing activity so that genes involved in tail formation can start working.

“In the case of snakes, we observed that the Oct4 gene is kept active during a longer period of embryonic development, which explains why snakes have such a long trunk and a very short tail.”

An evolutionary change caused the Oct4 gene to be placed next to a DNA region that kept it in an “on” state in the snake embryo, said the researchers. More.

It’s never been clear to many of us why the snake needs to be that long. It could get all its business in life done while much shorter. Maybe this helps us understand.

It’s like the really tall guy who isn’t a basketball star. His tallness is just a embarrassment but he was born that way.

See also: The intelligence of snakes

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One Reply to “Why snakes are so long?

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    Saying the GENES did it is saying nothing.
    Why did snakes EVOLVE so long evolutiondom???
    Genesis says snakes did not at first crawl on thier bellies. they had legs.
    they were uniquely cursed with leglessness. its a humiliating thing to bite the dust all day long.
    There is evidence in big ones for the former leg ability. A rare thing in creatures for vestigial remnants. This here because its true. otherwise the absence of leftover bits and pieces suggest there never was former anatomical body plans.

    Since all snakes had no more legs they demonstrate what a biblical KIND is.
    So a pair of this kIND(possibly 7) were taken on the ark. So all spitters or squeezers come from them in present diversity. So showing mechanism esists to bring this about.

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