Medicine

Researchers Unraveled the Mystery of Lizards with Green Blood

Researchers Unraveled the Mystery of Lizards with Green Blood

"We were excited by the complex history of these animals and surprised by the breadth of green-blooded lineages across lizards", said Rodriguez. And scientists have been trying hard to figure out what benefit this characteristic - caused by high levels of an ordinarily toxic green bile pigment - may give them.

These lizards, selengkapnya Skinks (Prasinohaema), possess several unique and unusual features.

One last fun fact about these weird little lizards: all that biliverdin in their blood makes not only their skin green; it makes their tongues (and muscles.and bones) lime green, too.

The researchers investigated the evolutionary history of green blood, which can be found in several groups of New Guinea lizards.

Prasinohaema prehensicauda is a green-blooded lizard with high concentrations of biliverdin, or a toxic green bile pigment, found in New Guinea. "Understanding why jaundice is not killing them, will help us to approach some of the problems with human health in an unexpected way", said Rodriguez Zachary (Zachary Rodriguez) from Louisiana state University in Baton Rouge (United States).

DNA analysis revealed four separate lineages of green-blooded lizards, and each of these lines evolved independently from a red-blooded ancestor.




"In addition to having the highest concentration of biliverdin recorded for any animal, these lizards have somehow evolved a resistance to bile pigment toxicity".

"Oh, these animals are gorgeous, truly some of the most attractive and enigmatic lizards in the world, living on one of the most megadiverse islands on the planet", Austin said. A new study, published yesterday in the journal, Science Advances, suggests this adaptation could offer some sort of advantage from an evolutionary standpoint, but the reason as to why still remains unclear. This suggests that green blood might have been an adaptive reaction, but researchers can not tell why the process had occurred. They examined 51 species of skinks, which included six species with green blood, two of which are species new to science. Slightly elevated levels of bile pigments in other animals, including insects, fish and frogs, have played potentially positive roles in these animals. Another supposition is that biliverdin acts as an antioxidant, purging their system of free radicals known to cause a large number of diseases.

The green-blooded lizards, up to a foot (30 cm) long, live in lowland tropical forests and highlands on New Guinea, an island shared by Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

Their research focused on Prasinohaema, a genus of skink (a type of lizard) that is native to New Guinea.

Now, the scientists are looking at whether these green blooded lizards can protect the humans from viruses such as malaria.