A rare mutation among the Bajau people lets them stay underwater longer: natural selection at the PDE10A gene has increased spleen size in the Bajau, providing them with a larger reservoir of oxygenated red blood cells.

Rare Mutation Among Bajau People Lets Them Stay Underwater Longer

The Bajau people of Malaysia and the Philippines are renowned for their free-diving abilities, often working eight-hour shifts in search of fish and other sea critters. Underwater sessions can last upwards of two minutes, with accumulated daily totals of breath-holding often reaching five hours. New research suggests these impressive feats aren’t the result of training, but rather, an example of natural selection at work—which, in this case, has endowed Bajau individuals with abnormally large spleens.

The Bajau are a small community from Southeast Asia, living in Malaysia, the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines, Mindanao, Borneo, and the eastern Indonesian islands. Some pockets of Bajau still live a traditional lifestyle, living in hou…
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Source: https://gizmodo.com/rare-mutation-among-bajau-people-lets-them-stay-underwa-1825386916