Primates Versus Cobras: How Our Last Common Ancestor Evolved Increased Venom Resistance

The last common ancestor of chimps, gorillas and humans developed an increased resistance toward cobra venom, according to University of Queensland (UQ)-led research. Scientists used animal-free testing techniques to show that African and Asian primates evolved resistance toward the venoms of large, daytime-active cobras and discovered that our last common ancestor with chimps and gorillas evolved even stronger resistance. UQ PhD candidate Richard Harris said African and Asian primates developed venom resistance after a long evolutionary arms race. “As primates from Africa gained the ability to walk upright and dispersed throughout Asia, they developed weapons to defend themselves against venomous snakes, this likely sparked an evolutionary arms race and evolving this venom resistance,” Harris said.

Login Or Register To Read Full Story