Was production of collagen a big step in animal evolution?

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Offline thedoc

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Edward Draper  asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Chris,

I do enjoy the Naked Scientists podcast - the perfect mix of strong facts, entertainment through the joy of learning and never talking down to your audience - thank you

Here's a question or so for you

As a mechanical engineer I am fascinated by the tissues of the body as materials. In particular, the tissues that allow us to move, they are flexible and with lose little energy with movement. They can do this tens or hundreds of millions of times in a lifetime with very little loss of integrity of the tissue.

Extraordinary - humans have never come close to materials like this.

One of the main constituents of these musculoskeletal tissues is the family of molecules called collagen.

These appear in all animals and never in plants. Collagen is a protein and is coded by our genes and we can see from the genetic code that the various versions between all species is highly conserved - it is very similar across the whole of the animal kingdom.

So what happened when the animal and plant kingdoms separated?

When did the last common ancestor between these two kingdoms exist?

And was it collagen that allowed animals the ability of locomotion?

I'd love to know the answers.

Many thanks,


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 18/07/2012 11:30:02 by _system »