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Evolutionary leap in ancient ancestor of platypus paved way for existence of humans

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I have created an infographic which I hope explains the step-by-step evolutionary process that Professors John Martin and Paolo D’Avino of the University College London and at Cambridge (respectively) have hypothesized. Blood clotting is essential for life. Without it we would all die cutting ourselves shaving with a traditional razor.

Blood clotting in single early platypus paved way for humans

Blood clotting in single early platypus paved way for humans. Infographic by MikeB.

The professors have hypothesized that there was a sudden evolutionary leap about 220 million years ago in an ancient ancestor of today’s platypus whereby blood clotting developed through the existence of platelets. It is platelets in the blood which clot the blood when there is an injury.

The report doesn’t explain to me how this evolutionary leap took place but it must have been due to a genetic mutation or perhaps more than one mutation. Ultimately it was an evolutionary step towards creating creatures that were better able to survive i.e., humans.

Of course, you have to believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution if you want to believe in this hypothesis. The evolution of platelets to clot blood led, they argue, to the evolution of mammals and then to humans.

And of course, humans are the dominant species on the planet by a good margin. They are the great survivors. The pinnacle of the evolutionary process. This is due to their intelligence. And Martin explains:

“If you want to produce something with a bigger brain then you have to keep the baby inside the uterus with lots of high nutrition to build the fatty part of the brain. But if you have a placenta, the key thing is that you have to separate the placenta from the uterus without the mother bleeding to death. And that is why blood clotting is so important. The key role of the placenta means female animals were the drivers of mammalian evolution.”

After that sudden evolutionary leap, about 120 million years later the first live births took place. Until then reptiles, birds and dinosaurs which roam the earth delivered the young in eggs.

What distinguishes mammals from other species is that they have live births and therefore they have a placenta.

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