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Fastest animals having similar mitochondria

  1. Jul 6, 2015 #1
    I have noticed that cheetahs, peregrine falcons, and sailfish have similar mitochondria as far as amount of base pairs, genes, RNAs, and proteins.

    Cheetahs have in their mitochondria 17,047 base pairs, 13 genes, 24 RNAs, and 13 proteins. Their speed is up to 75 mph with their acceleration being 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds.

    Peregrine falcons have 18,068 base pairs and the same number of genes, RNAs, and proteins as cheetahs. Their speed is up to 200 mph when they dive.

    Sailfish have 16,524 base pairs and the same number of genes, RNAs, and proteins as cheetahs and peregrine falcons. Their swimming speed is 68 mph. That is almost as fast as a cheetah.

    Could this be because of convergent evolution like speed was with the case of Miracinonyx(also known as the american cheetah)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2015 #2


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    Yes, it is true that the fastest animals all have similar mitochondria. However, it is also true that all animals, fast or slow, have similar mitochondria. For example, human mitochondria have 16,569 base pairs, and encodes 13 proteins and 24 RNAs. In fact, most animal mitochondria are very similar in that they are all ~ 16kb in size and encode 13 proteins and 24 RNAs (http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/27/8/1767.short).
  4. Jul 6, 2015 #3
    Almost certainly not convergent evolution here then.
    Probably statistical evidence of an unkown common ancestor which got really lucky with rapid conversion of chemical energy into kinetic energy.
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