They became extinct 66 million years ago, yet dinosaurs may have had a greater impact on humans than you might think. According to one prominent scientist, human aging has been influenced by the dominance of dinosaurs for millions of years.
This is called the “lifetime bottleneck hypothesis,” or… “Longevity bottleneck hypothesis” In good English. This is the theory of Professor João Pedro de Magalhaes from University of Birmingham He links the role that dinosaurs played on our planet for more than 100 million years to the aging process of mammals.
Because there’s something weird going on with that. For example, we humans develop wrinkles, muscle stiffness, and other less visible signs of aging, while reptiles and amphibians rarely appear to age a day. So this would be the dinosaurs’ fault. During the Mesozoic Era, which lasted from about 250 million to 66 million years ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The mammals were often small, short-lived, and often nocturnal. This puts great and constant pressure on the mammals to reproduce quickly before they are eaten by a hungry T. rex. After more than 100 million years, this led to the loss or inactivation of genes associated with longevity. For example, genes that initiate processes necessary for tissue regeneration and DNA repair.
“The longevity bottleneck hypothesis may shed light on the evolutionary forces that have shaped mammalian aging over millions of years. Professor de Magalhaes said: “Although humans are among the longest-lived animals, there are many reptiles and other animals that have “The aging process is much slower and she shows minimal signs of aging throughout her life.”
“Some of the first mammals were forced to live at the bottom of the food chain, and they survived for at least 100 million years in the age of dinosaurs by evolving rapid reproduction. I believe that a long period of evolutionary pressure had an impact on the way we age.” we human beings.
It refers to other animal species. “We see examples of remarkable DNA repair and regeneration in the animal world. This genetic information was not essential to the first mammals, which were lucky enough not to end up as food for dinosaurs. Although we now have an abundance of mammals, humans To whales and elephants, which grow large and old, we still have to live with the genetic limitations left over from the age of dinosaurs, and surprisingly we age much faster than many reptiles.
The professor confirms that it is still a hypothesis at the present time. “But there are many interesting perspectives, such as the fact that cancer has become more common in mammals than in other species over our evolutionary history.”
De Magalhaes also wrote that there may be other factors that explain why mammals age faster than other species. “Because mammals, unlike reptiles, for example, are warm-blooded, it is possible that body temperature contributes to a shorter lifespan in mammals.” In warm-blooded animals, the body is always at the same temperature. On the other hand, birds, which are also warm-blooded, have a higher body temperature and longer lifespan than mammals. “So the extent to which higher body temperature in mammals contributes to faster aging compared to reptiles remains a question mark.”
More research will be needed to find out if de Magalhães’ hypothesis is correct and if we can really blame dinosaurs for our wrinkles.
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