News From the Field
What we inherited from our bug-eating ancestors
May 16, 2018
This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.Humans are known to have one functioning and three non-functioning genes that make an enzyme that digests the hard exoskeletons of insects, which are made of chitin. A new University of California, Berkeley, study shows that nearly all placental mammals have one of five different chitinase genes, though not all are functioning and some are fragmentary. This suggests that the common ancestor of all placental mammals, living with dinosaurs until 66 million years ago, was an insect eater.Full Story
University of California, Berkeley
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