Researchers Reveal How Electric Fish Evolved Their Shocking Skills Independently at Six Different Times

June 26, 2014 8:17 PM

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Researchers Reveal How Electric Fish Evolved Their Shocking Skills Independently at Six Different Times

New research demonstrates that the six electric fish lineages, all of which evolved independently, used "genetic toolbox" to make an electricity-generating organ for defense, predation, navigation and communication. This photo of an electric eel is by Steven Johnson.

AUSTIN, Texas — New research demonstrates that the six electric fish lineages, all of which evolved independently, used essentially the same genes and developmental and cellular pathways to make an electricity-generating organ for defense, predation, navigation and communication.

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