Friday, October 12, 2007


No, I’m not referring to Linkin Park’s album for all of you Linkin Park fans out there. What I’m actually referring to breaks current theory and belief. Hybrids come from cross-species mating. Current scientific theory suggests that this interbreeding would affect the offspring in a negative way. The animal hybrids are said to be less fit to survive when compared to the parents; however, a recent study with two species of salamanders and its corresponding offspring suggests otherwise.

A research done at University of California-Davis focused on three types of salamanders; barred tiger salamanders, native California salamanders, and their corresponding interbred offspring. During the research, the young of the original species had a lower survival rate when compared to the hybrid offspring of the two species. As a result this raises some concerns involving the well being of the native salamanders if there were more hybrids. Some conservationists believe that these hybrids are genetically superior to the original as it improves some characteristics, while others believe that these hybrids have impure genes in their pool.

It makes me wonder if there are other species that exhibit this example. As it is, first thing that comes to my mind is if a species is a hybrid, why can’t they take the best features from both species? The article didn’t go to in depth about WHY this doesn’t happen and or how it would affect the salamanders in a negative way.

Posted by Justin Pok (3)


At 12:31 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This is a pretty neat idea. Are the offspring viable and fertile? This sounds a lot like symbiosis, but with animal species making hybrids rather that combining two organisms who are each lacking what the other has. It would be interesting to see what happens to the original species in the wild, and if there is concern for their survival value with the new hybrids being better suited for the environment.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really interesting. Did they talk about if the hybrids were different depending on if a tiger salamander or a california salamander was the mother or father? It was also be interesting to know what traits the hybrids posses from the parent species. The blog looks great except there appears to be a technical error with something that was inserted. Great job!

Christina Breed (3)

At 11:24 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This is similar to the people who are immune to malaria because they have one copy of the cystic fibrosis gene. This is called heterozygote advantage but with hybrids there is a characteristics called heterosis or hybrid vigor (hybrids have superior fitness than the original) which is probably what these salamanders have. I am interested to see if they are viable and fertile. Good topic!

Posted by Carmen B. Arsuaga (3)

At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Jessica Johnson (3) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is also true for some birds. Two seperate bird species that are overlapping in territory have begun to hybridize and the new hybrids are out competing the orignial species. Some scientists are beginning to worry that this interbreeding could mean that the original species are going to die out due to gene flow and become less fit compared to the hybrids

posted by Jessica Johnson (3)


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