Gene Pools and Co-evolution

For my own reasons I love Bearded Collies. These are some of  my present influences regarding gene pools and breeds etc. With some additions on evolution and co-evolution of humans and canids. 

Asthma on  Tristan da Cunha

Two articles on how genes for asthma at the start of an island’s colonisation have affected the community today.

Cancer in Tasmanian Devils

Just as an introduction for those unaware of the situation, one prominent theory is that this is an example of natural inbreeding due to an isolated island population. As all the Tasmanian Devils share a similar genetic ‘background’ when they bite one another transferred cancer cells cannot be detected as ‘foreign’ because of the similarity of origin. The animals natural immunity does not kick in. The cancer spreads contagiously due to the lack of identification as a foreign body to the individual.

Small Horses

Please search for Falabella horses there is a good Wikipedia article but the link is broken.

Co-evolution of Humans and Canids

Though not directly related to gene pools, this area interests me in relation to human and dog evolution, especially to Bearded Collies which display many of the traits outlined around 130,000 years ago that would have been part of the cultural and some believe biological development of Homo Sapiens, that’s us.

If the above paper is too deep and scientific then this is a more easy read introduction.


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  1. #1 by ecolizzy on February 3, 2009 - 12:00 pm

    Very interesting Roger, I haven’t time to read all the articles at the moment. But I have asthma, and so did my paternal grandfather.

    Thanks for the info about Tasmanian Devils, I did know about their plight. That theory is very interesting, but that means there’s no hope for them surely? I did read that they were keeping some seperately to try to keep them alive. Do you think that group hasn’t got the same genetic background? Or is it wishful thinking?

    I did know about these tiny horses as well, but the second link doesn’t work.

  2. #2 by celticlion on February 3, 2009 - 8:14 pm

    Hello Lizzie
    Thanks for telling me about the link. I’ve tried to repost it but still doesn’t work. It seems a problem at the Wiki end. Though the article can be accessed from Google by searching for Falabella horses.

    No I think that group has the same genetic background. Sadly it may just be a case of keeping them isolated from the contagious cancer and when all the others are dead, then release them.

    The Devil is extinct from the Australian mainland so none to introduce. The marsupials are isolated, which is one reason they survived as the landmasses split as part of plate tectonics and continental drift and isolated them before the rise of the more efficient mammals. Their isolation was their survival as a species, now this isolated inbred gene pool is the roots of their destruction, unable to recognise the cancer cells from another individual as foreign.

    Though I put the Tasmanian Devil in as an example of narrow gene pool variation in pedigree dogs. I feel so sorry for their plight and suffering, the site had over 200 visits today and I am grateful to everyone. If people have found out more about the Devils troubles, the raised awareness can be of some help to them.

    One thing I love about Bearded Collies is as Cesar Milan says about dogs. They are nature. To me the Bearded Collie has a bloodline or connection somewhere which goes back to the first wolves slowly and carefully venturing into the light of the campfires of man. Somehow I find with a working Beardie, they know what is real and important. They don’t care about a £trillion derivatives market, fiscal stimulus, war over religion or any of the other things our intelligent species considers important. They just focus on a few basics. Life, love and fun.

  3. #3 by ecolizzy on February 4, 2009 - 11:34 pm

    Hope you don’t mind this… ; )

  1. Polish Up the Mind « Celtic Lion

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