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Video: Unable to live hybrids - victims of selection in the XXI century
2023 Author: Seth Attwood | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 22:42
We used to think that selection is aimed at improving the quality of animals and increasing species diversity. However, when a person undertakes to independently reshape nature to suit his interests, reality can be cruel.
Since then, as a person took a dominant position in nature, he does not stop playing with his "younger brothers". Over the centuries, various types of animals have undergone artificial changes: some were domesticated and learned to be obedient, others were too dangerous and were completely exterminated. With the help of selection, people created new types of living things that satisfy their needs and simply demonstrate the capabilities of intelligence - but these actions also have a downside.
Hybrids: fantasy and the real world
This plot has become one of the most popular in the science fiction genre. Caesar, the protagonist of the Planet of the Apes franchise, is a direct result of genetic experimentation. He is clearly smarter than the average monkey, and over time even surpasses his own creators in intelligence. A good example is Indominus Rex, a dinosaur resulting from a hybrid combination of genes from other dinosaurs, reptiles and amphibians, which made it not only the most valuable exhibit in Jurassic Park, but also the most dangerous predator in the fictional cinematic universe. Despite the fact that in reality such experiments have not yet been carried out, humanity continues to create more and more strange hybrids. But what does this actually lead to?
The dwarf domestic pig, or mini-pig, has become famous not only as a laboratory animal that is convenient for testing, but has also become a very popular pet. Alas, many of those who bought a cute pig for themselves were eventually disappointed in their purchase. For example, in 2015, CBS News reported that abandoned, lost owners of mini-pigs flooded the United States. A pig, even a dwarf one, is by nature an extremely voracious creature, and many simply could not provide them with enough food to keep the animal healthy. As a result, hungry pigs led a scavenger lifestyle, eating to large sizes from food waste. The fact is that in order to preserve the miniature size of a mini-pig, a special diet is needed, non-compliance with which leads to rapid growth.
Breeding: double-edged blade
Dogs have become another victim of the human addiction to genetics. At the dawn of civilizations, these domesticated animals played the role of watchmen and shepherds, and therefore the smartest and most physically healthy individuals survived. Nowadays, when the wealth of the house has ceased to be measured by the size of the flocks, and the animals have been replaced by digital alarms, dogs are increasingly becoming a kind of accessory for exhibitions. In pursuit of external features, breeders have made these animals disabled: for example, pugs and French Bulldogs from birth suffer from a very high risk of developing respiratory problems associated with a canine disease known as brachycephalic syndrome. In 2013, researchers found that brachycephalic dogs have difficulty exercising and suffer from overheating as early as 19 ° C, as well as sleep problems.
Horses are another example of how hybridization and selection can transform an initially powerful and resilient creature. It's not just about breeds that are bred specifically for racing. The New Scientist portal reports that Arabian horses "without a face" with a very specific appearance are gaining popularity in the United States. This physical trait is nothing more than a pathology that causes the horse to have breathing problems. British equestrian specialist Tim Gritt notes that such a deformation has much more significant consequences for a horse than for a person and even for a dog, since a horse can take a full breath only through the nose.
How to be in this situation? Jonathan Picon, president of the British Veterinary Association, says that every animal that develops pathologies due to selection manipulation serves as an excellent material for researchers. By studying such problematic cases, scientists can avoid more serious mistakes in the future. However, in the end, everything, as always, rests on the morality of the person himself: only you and I have to decide whether we have the right, for the sake of consumer interest and personal goals, to turn animals into deformed, sick from birth creatures.
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