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Evolution in Action: Lizard Moving From Eggs to Live Birth

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 08:10 PM
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Evolution in Action: Lizard Moving From Eggs to Live Birth

A yellow-bellied three-toed skink carrying embryos, visible as light orbs inside its body.

Photograph courtesy Rebecca A. Pyles


Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News
Published September 1, 2010

Evolution has been caught in the act, according to scientists who are decoding how a species of Australian lizard is abandoning egg-laying in favor of live birth.

Along the warm coastal lowlands of New South Wales (map), the yellow-bellied three-toed skink lays eggs to reproduce. But individuals of the same species living in the state's higher, colder mountains are almost all giving birth to live young.

Only two other modern reptilesanother skink species and a European lizarduse both types of reproduction. (Related: "Virgin Birth Expected at ChristmasBy Komodo Dragon.")

Evolutionary records shows that nearly a hundred reptile lineages have independently made the transition from egg-laying to live birth in the past, and today about 20 percent of all living snakes and lizards give birth to live young only.

more

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/09/100901-...
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 08:20 PM
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1. k & r
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 08:24 PM
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2. That's a really cool discovery.......
And it's a comfort to know that nature is evolving.
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gordianot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 09:32 PM
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3. Lizards make a step forward, humans I wonder? n/t
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 09:50 PM
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4. Very cool
"We tend to think of this as a very complex transition," he said, "but it's looking like it might be much simpler in some cases than we thought."
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