Many carnivores have lost the gene for tasting sweets

03/12/2012 | Discovery

Domestic cats and other carnivores, including bottlenose dolphins, sea lions and hyenas, cannot taste sweet flavors because the genes that encode for a sweet tooth independently mutated and became defunct, according to new research by biologist Gary Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. All animals with mutations in the sweet gene are carnivores, while omnivores that chew their food maintain the ability to taste sweets.

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