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Old 12-10-03, 09:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Orillia, ON
Age: 46
Posts: 460
Hey Ryan,

I agree with you completely in that many reptiles live in small populations with restricted gene flow, so most problem genes have long ago died out (and possibly some neat animals with them...). However, there is always the possibility of random mutations which crop up and then become far more common due to inbreeding. Not likely an issue in the short term, or even within the span of our lives. Remember, dogs have been 'bred' by humans for thousands of years. So if we talk about the long term, say at least 50-100 generations, there *could* be problems. So if the goal is to ensure that species survive in their present form into the future, why not try to avoid inbreeding? It isn't that hard- just don't repeatedly breed parents to offspring, etc. On the other hand, if one's goal is to produce an amelanistic patternless dwarf morph, go right ahead, but don't pretend to anyone that 'conservation' is any part of what is going on!

Jeff Hathaway
Sciensational Sssnakes!!
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Old 12-10-03, 11:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul-2003
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,176
Hi Jeff,

I think we are of the same opinion, I don't know if you read the disclaimer in my post. Apparently it's not a bad thing in snakes, but I don't condone it if it's avoidable. Most of what I wrote came out in a discussion I had with a researcher who was here doing a seminar on E. obsoleta reproduction. Of course, random mutation is the driving force of evolution but comparing artificial selection of snakes to that of other animals might not be a good idea (as I think you pointed out also).
I suppose the fact is, inbreeding will likely not affect captive populations of snakes (at least in no way that could be directly related to inbreeding) but my mammalian view on inbreeding prevents me from practicing it in my own collection if it can be avoided.
Also, as I am sure you know, random mutation is a rare event and perhaps it is this probablity that we should be looking at when trying to quantify any possibility of problems associated with inbreeding. There is such a small chance that a random mutation will occur, coupled with the chance that the gene may not be deleterious (doesn't happen too often). Obviously, however, the best/quickest method for gene flow to occur in a population is through inbreeding.


Last edited by Removed_2815; 12-10-03 at 12:09 PM..
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