Scientists have discovered a way to transform the scales of alligators into feathers and it could provide vital clues in how dinosaurs evolved into birds
This is one of the most impressive and biggest developments in the history if evolution, and scientists are making efforts to find out the exact biological shift that lead to the creation of the birds we know today.
Scientists succeeded in finding out the feather developing genes in birds and then stimulated them in alligator embryos, causing the scales to turn into feathers.
Moreover, they believe that some of the dinosaurs evolved into birds that still had scales, while other developed feathers. Even so, there is still a lot of mystery left in how exactly this evolution took place.
Most people wouldn’t think that alligators and birds were evolutionary cousins. However, reptiles are the closest living relativ of birds and descend from the archosaurs, the “ruling reptiles” who once dominated the Earth 250 million years ago.
“We now have a potential molecular explanation for these hypothesized missing links,” said Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong, professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC
“These results show that different perturbations cause different levels of scale to feather conversion, implying that scales have the capability to form feathers given the proper molecular signals,” he added