Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Snake with foot found in China

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Science Donate to DU
 
Bushknew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:44 PM
Original message
Snake with foot found in China





http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/6187320/Snake...


The snake 16 inches long and the thickness of a little finger is now being studied at the Life Sciences Department at China's West Normal University in Nanchang.

Snake expert Long Shuai said: "It is truly shocking but we won't know the cause until we've conducted an autopsy."

A more common mutation among snakes is the growth of a second head, which occurs in a similar way to the formation of Siamese twins in humans.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Sukie Donating Member (563 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Can you say.....................
Evolution? I don't know though. That is a small snake. It just gets curiouser...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Snakes evolved from lizards.
They used to have legs; some species still have some of the internal skeletal structure for legs.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wonder just how poluted that part of China is...
n.t.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
daninthemoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. That is one creepy picture
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. Now that is an original design lol
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
5. Homeobox genes.
I'm not a biologist but this seems like a mutation in a homeobox gene.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeobox

That snake species must still have ancient genes for the formation of a leg and foot, and the homeobox genes that were blocking it must have gotten damaged.

This is just a guess from a non-biologist, but it makes sense to me.

It will be interesting to hear how the creationists attempt to explain this.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. thats a pretty good guess.
As a biologist I think thats a viable hypothesis. We all have genes encoded with old traits...After all we actually have gills during one stage of development...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. Definitely a regulatory gene malfunction. It might not even be a mutation....
it might be a non-genetic environmental trigger of suppressed regulatory pathways. In fact that is probably more likely, given that it isn't symmetric.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. That makes sense. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
23. Snakes still have the gene for limbs.
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 09:11 PM by Avalux
Chemicals, radiation...those types of things could 'turn on' the specific gene. I am not sure this would qualify as homeobox...which would usually manifest as legs where antennae should be or double antennae.

Legs on snakes is very odd indeed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. not that odd
It didn't take much tinkering in my genetics lab to make a leg grow out of a fruit fly eye. I've always been intrigued by how small effects in the genotype can make HUGE differences in the phenotype
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
24. simply another sign of armaggeddon
lol
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
InternalDialogue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. It evolved the hand just to punch other snakes with.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
prole_for_peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. I welcome our snake overlords. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. The misssssssssing link!
or

The hissssssssing link, take your pick.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheCowsCameHome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. Awww, how cute.
Can we keep him, daddy?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
10. What is the sound of one hand clapping....
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 06:11 PM by Desertrose
or he's just gonna go round in a circle. Wouldn't two hands or feet have been a greater evolutionary leap?

;) Kidding....



Very strange!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
11. Jesus
isn't going to like this at all.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
14. I just now actually read the article.
Dean Qiongxiu, 66, said she discovered the reptile clinging to the wall of her bedroom with its talons in the middle of the night.

"I woke up and heard a strange scratching sound. I turned on the light and saw this monster working its way along the wall using his claw," said Mrs Duan of Suining, southwest China.

Before reading that I assumed that it was a useless growth (an actual foot, obviously, but unusable), but if this woman's story is correct then apparently the snake had actual use of the appendage. If so then the connections to the central nervous system and brain structures needed to control it existed along with the leg. How freaky is that?

This has the potential to contribute to both our knowledge of evolution and the development of individuals. It's a shame she killed it, but if I had found that thing crawling up my wall in the middle of the night I may have killed it also.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
17. This is a cool demonstration of at least two things...
1) loss of snake limbs occurred via suppression of the "leg-generating" development pathways.

2) in the big picture, it must have been pretty recent, because the pathways still work if the suppression fails.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
18. Can we be certain that the foot actually belongs to the snake?
It doesn't seem to be oriented in the correct direction in relation to the front of the snake. Also, you can see that the body of the snake is bulged out just in front and back of the limb - is it possible that the snake just swallowed a large lizard, and in the course of getting the lizard down, one of the limbs burst through the body cavity? It's been known to happen.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. The coloration matches that of the snake.
Also, the woman claims that the snake was using the limb to climb along the wall.

In any case, wouldn't the scenario you describe kill the snake pretty quickly?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Possibly, but the option has to be taken into account
Occam's razor and all that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. You're no fun.
But seriously, some recent theory says we can build a dinosaur mainly by flipping some genetic switches in chickens. I can well believe that a mutant snake can grow a foot.

I imagine that such a foot would resemble a lizard's.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
21. Mrs Duan said she was so scared she grabbed a shoe and beat the snake to death...
Thank you for destroying something truly unique. :(
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
26. What foot? It's obviously an image of the Virgin Mary that the snake swallowed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sspeilbergfan90 Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
27. Just creepy
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Jul 31st 2014, 02:29 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Science Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC