Christian asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 10 months ago

How are endangered animals not severely inbred?

Animals like polar bears and tigers live few and far between, often mating with cousins. How are these species able to continue with so few animals?

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  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    First we had 1 T rex.  He had longer arms to play with himself./herself/itself  Not sure which.   So how did we get 2 T rex, or 2000 T rex and shorter arms.?   Work on that puzzle first.  Okay you can't use T rex.  How about a pair of Mosquitoes.? or fruit flies.?When do they become something other than their parents?

  • 10 months ago

    Actually the cheetah hit a bottleneck at the last ice age, and recovered.

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    Thanks to an ice age that began 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, 75 percent of all mammals in North America, Europe and Australia suddenly went extinct [source: Menotti-Raymond and O'Brien]. This mass extinction that exterminated the saber-toothed tiger very nearly killed off all the cheetahs, but a few managed to survive and carry on the present-day species. Scientists call this near-extinction a population bottleneck. In the case of the cheetah, it reduced the gene pool so much that modern-day cheetahs have about the same amount of genetic variation as lab mice or livestock that have been deliberately inbred.

    Cheetahs are virtual clones, with only one to 10 percent of the genetic variability found in other feline species [source: Begley]. In a landmark 1983 study, scientists tested enzymes in cheetah blood to spot genetic similarities. For most cat species, these enzymes differ between 20 and 50 percent from individual to individual. When testing enzymes in cheetahs, researchers found no variation at all among 55 different cheetahs

  • John
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    two reasons. one, incest is not immediately detrimental. it's not ideal, but an instance of cousins mating isn't going to destroy the species. the second reason is that zoos have breeding programs and will work together with other zoos to breed genetically different animals and build a diverse population

  • 10 months ago

    Zoos have breeding programs that prevent inbreeding. Probaly more numbers than you think. Not like one tiny family left.

    Roy Horn bred tigers in captivity and went to great length to see no inbreeding.

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  • CRR
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    They can be inbred but harmful genetic defects tend to be eliminated by natural selection. Natural selection is only partially effective in eliminating recessive defects.

  • 10 months ago

    Some wild populations are severely inbred.  One example was the Florida puma.  They had defects of inbreeding.  Functionally they're extinct now.  Pumas in that area are descendants of Texas pumas that were brought in to increase genetic diversity.

  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Excessive inbreeding is a concern because it makes wild populations more vulnerable to new diseases and infections, and it also makes it more likely for recessive genetic defects to surface. That is why conservation biologists look for ways to increase gene flow, by designing corridors that wildlife can use to go safely from one area to another. As long as there is gene flow, even if limited gene flow, animal populations can maintain a healthy level of genetic diversity.

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    cause god helps them continue

  • Fantom
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    You are assuming there are no inbreeding issues. If you really study any small population of animals (or humans), there is a higher level of inbreeding problems. Look at inbreeding concerns in purebred pedigreed dogs as a great example.

  • 10 months ago

    Sometimes they are. But remember, that every species started out from a "severely inbred" population. As far as the individuals in captivity go, zoos have access to enough data to select mates that are not too closely related.

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