"I find it just absolutely remarkable that you've got this group of vertebrates, these lizards, that have a level of biliverdin that would kill a human being, and yet they're out catching insects and living lizard lives", says Susan Perkins, a researcher at the American Museum of Natural History in NY. Surprisingly, these lizards remain healthy with levels of green bile that are 40 times higher than the lethal concentration in humans. They're still not sure of the benefits of the lizards having the green blood, finding out could give them an idea about human illnesses such as jaundice. For the study, 51 species of skinks were analyzed this included six species with green-blood.
These reptiles have muscles, bones and tongues that appear to be bright lime green, due to high levels of a toxic green bile pigment in their blood known as biliverdin. Puncture a member of the Prasinohaema, a genus of skinks, and you'll get a flow of green blood instead. In this tube, red blood cells are on the right and green blood plasma is on the left. Skinks were found to have the highest concentration of biliverdin of any animal, the skinks have developed a resistance to the toxicity of biliverdin. Understanding the underlying physiological changes that have allowed these lizards to remain jaundice-free might translate to the non-traditional approaches to specific problems.
Their analysis suggests the Prasinohaema genus consists of four different lineages, all tracing back to differed red-blooded ancestors. Two of the green-blooded species were newly discovered.
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With respect to those three, expecting much from the bats was a bit of a stretch, so I'll let that rotting carcass rest for a day. Godley was winless in two starts against the Mets past year despite surrendering three earned runs in 11 innings (2.31 ERA).
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The fact that green blood emerged independently on numerous occasions suggests it may be evolutionarily beneficial, according to the researchers. This green bile pigment is produced in the process of breaking down the oxygen-transporting molecule hemoglobin into the bile pigment bilirubin. The other species that sport green blood give birth to live young. This surprised the researchers, who made a decision to investigate the matter and disclose the mystery of the green blood.
"Our data strongly supports that scenario of four independent origins of green blood", says Austin, adding that the team is doing follow-up genetic work to confirm this.
Scientists previously believed that green-blooded skinks may be part of a closely related group but this wasn't the case. Still, they're continuing to explore what kind of relationship there might be between malaria and green blood. Slightly elevated levels of bile pigments in other animals, including insects, fish and frogs, have played potentially positive roles in these animals. The previous studies have concluded that the bile pigment can act as an antioxidant searching for the free radicals and prevent diseases while in vitro fertilization.