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Air Sac breathing system

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I did some research on the air sac breathing system of birds and I found it fascinating...

 

Is it possible for a similar system to evolve in another group like say reptile or mammal?

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Consider genomics, developmental biology, embryology, etc...

 

It would require a huge number of attempts to genomically combine the homeotic/homeobox genes. You would see much more guess work until you have a very good understanding of the genome, genes, expression factors, etc...

 

You would more than likely develop cancerous and or mutant organisms that will not reach maturity. Until you have developed a database that approaches to answer some of the important factors you will be shooting in the dark.

 

Understand the needed modifications to the circulatory system among many other issues.

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Green - just because something changes developmentally doesn't mean "insta-cancer". If that were the case, we'd all still be hagfish.

 

ttyo - The pterosaurs definitely had air-sacs, but the unidirectional lung is not confirmed, and even if they had it, it may have simply evolved in the common ancestor of them and dinosaurs.

 

 

 

As for it evolving anew, the trick is the need to evolve extra air-sacs in the first place. Presumably these sacs did not originally serve a gas-exchange function, but were instead for lightening the animal's body to allow faster movement. How and why that occured in the first place is a bit of an open question.

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For this to happen naturally through evolution there would have to be a need for it. Birds need a more efficient gas exchange system then animals because of their heavily taxing life styles. Mammal respiratory system work through 'pooling' and is very inafficient in comparission to other respiratory systems. Changing our respiratory surface would have obvious benifits but to backtrack to more efficient respiratory systems seems extreamily improbable... maybe instead the pooling system would maybe be evolved to somehow get rid of the stale air faster to increase the o2 rich air on the respitory surface?

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Lets see in response to wind turbines or higher altitudes. Mammalian lungs suck at such conditions. Explains why bat die near wind turbines... Also why you would find a bird at a higher altitude than a mammal.

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