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Could This Be Evolution? Egg Laying Lizard Also Gives Live Birth

For most animals, reproduction is straight forward as some species lay eggs, while others give birth to young babies alive. But a study found out that an Australian species of lizard can apparently do both in the same pregnancy. However, scientists at the University of Sydney witnessed this in a three-toed skink, which layed three eggs and then later gave birth to a live baby. This was an event that had never been witnessed in any vertebrate species before.

However, this little lizard belongs to a rare group of species that are "bimodally reproductive" meaning that some of it's members lay eggs, while others give birth to their offspring live. Physiologically, this evolution from egg-laying to live birth is no mean feat as it requires a whole suite of changes such as the evolution of a placenta, new specialist body organ, loss of the hard outer eggshell and also ability of keeping embryos inside the body for a long period of time.

Although, it was not still clear on what was responsible for the triggering of female to lay eggs and give birth to a live baby from the same pregnancy but findings suggest that transition between egg-laying and live bearing may hedge bets reproductively before a true transition to live birth begins to evolve.

Content created and supplied by: Joebaby (via Opera News )

Australian University of Sydney

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