A new study suggests that green coloured blood has been observed in a group of lizards thriving in the islands of New Guinea.
Basically, the green coloured blood is formed in the lizards due to the high levels of bile pigment in their body which is toxic in nature.
But the lizards discovered in this region are showing some new secrets about them, which includes how they evolved. The scientists said that when they conducted a DNA study of these lizards, they were able to resolve their family tree. This led them to discover that the weird green coloured blood evolved independently four different times in the lizard called as skinks thriving in New Guinea.
Zachary Rodriguez, evolutionary biologist of Louisiana State University said that the key finding of the study was that the lizards having green coloured blood are not related to close relatives and have likely evolved from their ancestors who were red blooded. This makes it quite clear that the green blooded lizards evolved independently, suggesting that the green blood comes with certain properties which are beneficial.
The high levels of the bile pigment called biliverdin in their blood overshadows the bright crimson red blood cells as a result of which these lizards have bright green coloured blood muscles, bones, mucosal tissues and tongue.
A high concentration of biliverdin leads to jaundice among most animals. On the other hand, a high concentration of the bile pigment, known bilirubin found in humans causes jaundice. But surprisingly, the lizards survive even with the biliverdin levels being high.
The scientists are trying to work hard on finding out how this characteristic benefits them.
Now, the scientists are looking at whether these green blooded lizards can protect the humans from viruses such as malaria. However, regarding this, a lot of further research will be required to have a better understanding.