4 September 2013
Dr Joe Parker, Dr Stephen Rossiter, Dr Georgia Tsagkogeorga
A new study published in the journal Nature has uncovered genetic similarities in bats and dolphins. Both animals use echolocation to detect obstacles or track down prey, but despite the different origins and mechanisms of their sonar senses similar genes appear to be involved. Scientists used a supercomputer from the School of Physics and Astronomy to sift through the largest dataset ever to look for convergent evolution in 2,326 genes shared by 22 mammals, including six bats and the bottlenose dolphin. The study hints that evolution may be finding the same genetic solutions to a problem more often than previously thought.