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Convergence is the phenomenon whereby similar phenotypes evolve independently in different lineages. One example is resistance to toxins in animals. Toxins have evolved many times throughout the tree of life. They disrupt molecular and physiological pathways in target species, thereby incapacitating prey or deterring a predator. In response, molecu...
Convergent evolution provides insights into the selective drivers underlying evolutionary change. Snake venoms, with a direct genetic basis and clearly defined functional phenotype, provide a model system for exploring the repeated evolution of adaptations. While snakes use venom primarily for predation, and venom composition often reflects diet sp...
Venomous snakes are important subjects of study in evolution, ecology, and biomedicine. Many venomous snakes have alpha-neurotoxins (α-neurotoxins) in their venom. These toxins bind the alpha-1 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) at the neuromuscular junction, causing paralysis and asphyxia. Several venomous snakes and their predators have evo...
Convergent evolution provides unparalleled insights into the selective drivers underlying evolutionary change. While snakes use venom primarily for predation, and venom composition often reflects diet specificity, three lineages of spitting cobras have independently evolved the ability to use venom as a defensive projectile. Using gene, protein and...