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Old April 26th, 2013 (04:25 PM).
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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I actually left out an explanation. There could be environmental factors, like a toxin the mother ingested while she was pregnant. Certain toxins are able to cause the same abnormality even across many different species, like goats, cows or cats. I have one in mind, but I'm not going to post it because the first time I saw it I got nightmares, but feel free to PM me about it. The point is that plants can create compounds that do nasty things to a developing fetus.

Since toxins are created by proteins, and mutations in the genetic code cause these proteins to change, the mother could have eaten a plant that had a mutation which created the toxin causing the deformity as we observe it right now. What's worse is that plant might not even be around anymore - it might've been a one-in-a-million mutation that survived maybe for a couple generations. And that probably wouldn't even be testable because the toxin would be in such low concentrations that any detectable amount of it might have degraded over time. And if we haven't characterized the toxin yet, then we can't even test it to begin with. So if everything turns out to be normal on the genetics side, environmental factors could be a plausible explanation, although one we probably can't test for.
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