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The genetic secrets of whales' unparalleled gigantism


DECRYPTION - A combination of genes would notably protect cetaceans from the increased risk of cancer inherent to their size.

Several tens of thousands of years ago, giant mammals dominated the world, like the dinosaurs before them or man after.

As our ancestors ventured into new territories, kangaroos and giant armadillos, along with mammoths and other mastodons (other extinct, shorter-legged cousins ​​of the elephant) eventually died out.

Of this ancient terrestrial "megafauna", only certain African and South Asian species such as elephants survive.

But in the seas, cetaceans have managed to hold their own, to the point of making the blue whale the only being capable of competing with the diplodocus for the title of the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth.

Twice as massive as the largest sauropod ever unearthed, it is also unquestionably the largest.

But what is the secret of the unequaled gigantism of whales?

A study conducted by researchers at the State University of Campinas, in São Paulo, Brazil…

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Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2023-01-31

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