Proximate environmental effects on metamorphosis have been explored in many vertebrate systems, but less attention has been devoted to how the environment affects developmental morphological change in mammals. Understanding proximate environmental effects on mammalian morphological change, particularly changes involving skin replacement, may aid in the design of therapeutic strategies to address severe burn or other debilitating injuries. Here, we specifically explore effects of celerity broadly, and we present results showing rapid change in mammalian morphological development following encountering maximum celerity. Morphological changes were pronounced within 96 hours and included at least partial regeneration of skin and organs as well as an elevated somatic mutation rate. Significantly, this high mutation rate did not result in detectable loss of fertility or viability of offspring. Overall, our findings strongly suggest that extreme celerity, an environmental factor rarely considered, can produce strikingly rapid developmental changes in morphology even in mammalian systems and open the door to future studies on the impact of celerity on genetics and morphology.
Journal: Austin journal of pharmacology and therapeutics