Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Genetic Throwbacks
Name: Karl S.
Status: Student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
I read the following question and answer from your web site, and I understand the explaination of recapitulating phylogeny, but is it actually possible for babies to be born with either something resembling "gill slits" or a "tail"? Possibly flaps of skin or an elongated tail bone? Question - Is it true that babies can be born with a congenital throwback i.e. born with fish gill/s and if so what is it called?

All mammals have gill slits in their very early fetal development. We call this ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny..where the development of the individual goes through some of the characteristics of the animals lower in the evolutional development. When we look at early fetal development of various animals we see all having gill slits, and tails.



Replies:
Yes ... almost anything is possible. Although usually not for the reasons that one might expect. What congenital anomalies of development show are often related to the time of delivery/parturition.

PF



Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory