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Predators lose their ability to feel softness

The American Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study by European and American scientists on March 12 that found that many carnivores seem to lose the ability to perceive sweetness over time.

According to scientists at the Monell Center for the Chemical Senses in Pennsylvania, USA and the University of Zurich, Switzerland, most mammals are said to have the ability to taste sweet, aromatic, bitter and salty. and sour.

After describing how the sweet taste was lost in domestic cats and feral cats due to a genetic defect, the team of scientists studied 12 different species of mammals that lived primarily on meat and fish, copper. The time to pay attention to the sweet taste receptor genes was Tas1r2 and Tas1r3.

Sea lions have lost the ability to taste sweetness.

The results showed that 7 out of 12 species had different levels of variation in the Tas1r2 gene that made them unable to taste the sweetness, including sea lions, big-eared seals, harbor seals and otters. Asian baby claws, spotted hyenas and bottle nosed dolphins.

Sea lions and dolphins – two species thought to have evolved from land mammals tens of millions of years ago, tend to swallow food entirely and show no appetite for taste. sugar.

Additionally, dolphins appear to have three inactive taste receptor genes, proving that they do not experience the sweet, aromatic, or bitter taste.

However, mammals commonly exposed to sweet flavors, such as raccoons, Canadian worms, four-eyed bears, and red foxes, retain the Tas1r2 genes, proving that they can still taste the taste. sweet even if you only eat meat.

“Our results provide further evidence that what animals, including humans, prefer to eat depends on,” said Gary Beauchamp, senior author and behavioral biologist at Monell. in their basic biological function of taste receptors. “

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