Science Says: Green-blooded lizards pose evolutionary puzzle - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Science Says: Green-blooded lizards pose evolutionary puzzle

AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - For some lizards it's easy being green. It's in their blood. Six species of lizards in New Guinea bleed lime green thanks to evolution gone weird.

It's unusual, but there are critters that bleed different colors of the rainbow besides red. The New Guinea lizards' blood appears green because of incredibly large doses of a green bile pigment. The bile levels are higher than other animals, including people, could survive.

Scientists still don't know why this happened, but evolution is providing some hints into this nearly 50-year mystery.

By mapping the evolutionary family tree of New Guinea lizards, they found that green blood developed inside the amphibians at four independent points in history, likely from a red-blooded ancestor.

The study is in Wednesday's journal Science Advances.

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