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Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks

Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 28, 2012, 03:27:20 AM
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/24/147367644/six-legged-giant-finds-secret-hideaway-hides-for-80-years

Seems good at first, but there is something perverse about species conservation of this manner. Hundreds of individuals bred in a captive population from the same two parents.

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 28, 2012, 07:58:22 AM
I agree it's annoying that it came to this, but there is no sense in whining about the only option they had given their resources.

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 28, 2012, 01:23:00 PM
Depending on how many individuals exist, they may have doomed the species by inbreeding.

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 07:30:05 AM
Some say we are all descended from two individuals.
We must all be inbred.
Yet we keep right on going forth and multiplying.
Tales of the unexplained.

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 08:55:06 AM
Uhh, inbreeding doesn't necessarily lead to problems for future generations?  It's certainly immensely more likely, but enough men have fathered "normal" children by their mothers/aunts/sisters/daughters to suggest that it's not a certainty that the offspring of blood-related mates will be malformed in some way.  I say "normal" in inverted commas because your childhood is going to be pretty fucked up when your mother is also your grandmother/great aunt/aunt/sister.

NHA

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 05:11:13 PM
Quote
The loss of diversity could limit a population's ability to respond adaptively to future environmental changes. In addition, the increased frequency with which deleterious recessive alleles are expressed (because of increased homozygosity) could reduce the viability and reproductive capacity of individuals. I am generally skeptical about the extent to which genetic stochasticity poses a threat to most endangered species of animals or plants, for reasons we'll discuss in some detail later.

Presumably it makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to adapt themselves to the population group too.

Really though it seems like in cases where natural selection isn't being strongly exerted on the species (like for humans or animals living among humans) it would seem to have much less of an impact.

Think how many breeds of dogs would have little chance of surviving in the wild without human aid but who otherwise live pretty healthy lives.

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 05:48:56 PM
Mostly off the top of my head, inbreeding depression is much less of an issue for lower animals than it is for complicated mammals. Inbreeding is more common and much less harmful in rodents. Every domestic hamster you ever encountered comes from one family of hamsters in the Syrian desert from the early part of the last century, I want to say 1936. Also, animals that come from small population are also significantly less likely to be subject to inbreeding depression. The cheetah for instance we know was subject in the past to a severe population bottleneck which has seemingly paradoxically made them less effected by genetic diseases than other cat species. Cheetahs are all so closely related they can accept skin grafts from other cheetahs without anti rejection therapy. Species that come from tiny island populations typically through natural selection get rid of the deleterious alleles that lead to the birth defects at a faster rate, as they manifest at a faster rate.  If the species of walking sticks was on that island for even a couple hundred years(or possibly significantly less time, I'd have to ask a geneticist) most of the deleterious alleles were probably already gone, and there is a much lower chance for inbreeding depression than would be the case with other insects.

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 05:59:17 PM
I want to add though the asymmetry theory still applies to small island genetically nearly identical populations(think to your MGS days) and there are still avenues for inbreeding depression to happen even with the removal of all deleterious alleles if the genetic pool gets too small. I begin to lose a firm grasp on the issue at this point. Need to brush up on my biology.

I checked my hamster dates, it was 1930 when they were discovered. And I found a study that shows the elimination of inbreeding depression entirely in captively bred beetles, which is something I wasn't aware of. Seems to contradict the notion I held that you could never fundamentally eliminate it. Fascinating.

NHA

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 07:51:45 PM
Cheetahs are all so closely related they can accept skin grafts from other cheetahs without anti rejection therapy.
Some cancers become contagious at a certain point too - which kinda sucks haha. http://www.livescience.com/18514-tasmanian-devil-cancer-genome.html

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 07:54:51 PM
What bothered me was the "simulacra" that these animals have become, much like the American Buffalo, and numerous other macrofauna, notably birds of New Zealand that are restricted to a few small islands set aside for conservation. These animals are, unfortunately, genetically limited populations acting as a museum. In a state of nature life radiates genetically causing speciation, resulting in what we now call biodiversity (only because it is dying, the same function as multiculturalism in an acultural society), but these animals lack that organic emergence. I suppose this could contrast with Raccoons and English Sparrows, among a great many other species, that subsist with great efficiency in human dominated environments, but without the intention of the human subject.

So for me, it wasn't so much about inbreeding as much as the flaws inherent in conservation.

Inbreeding and genetic recession is a part of nature. Some species of fungi lose their ability to reproduce sexually altogether. The same thing can happen in higher chordates: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7122/abs/4441021a.html


Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 08:06:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cjRGee5ipM&feature=related

George Carlin have an interesting take on that subject.

Re: Lord Howe Island Walking Sticks
March 30, 2012, 11:36:41 PM
What bothered me was the "simulacra" that these animals have become, much like the American Buffalo, and numerous other macrofauna, notably birds of New Zealand that are restricted to a few small islands set aside for conservation. These animals are, unfortunately, genetically limited populations acting as a museum. In a state of nature life radiates genetically causing speciation, resulting in what we now call biodiversity (only because it is dying, the same function as multiculturalism in an acultural society), but these animals lack that organic emergence. I suppose this could contrast with Raccoons and English Sparrows, among a great many other species, that subsist with great efficiency in human dominated environments, but without the intention of the human subject.

So for me, it wasn't so much about inbreeding as much as the flaws inherent in conservation.

Inbreeding and genetic recession is a part of nature. Some species of fungi lose their ability to reproduce sexually altogether. The same thing can happen in higher chordates: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7122/abs/4441021a.html



What are the flaws? Frame them in ways we could fundamentally change them. Those seem like the best courses of action in lieu of something better like human re/depopulation. For me, there is an innate drive to preserve biodiversity at all costs, even if it means setting aside small relict populations. Maybe it isn't so much as innate as ingrained by watching countless nature documentaries as a child where conservation was constantly drilled into my head. Well it worked. When it comes to the survival of other species, that is when I am most interventionist. Fuck sending seal team 6 after Islamic boogymen created by the post-Canaanite-religion construct, go after poachers, illegal loggers, and people who work for companies or governments who continue to cause irreversible environmental harm, especially extinctions. The endangered Rhino>the diseased village that depends on illegal sale of the horn to sustain. Poaching endangered animals should be a Capital crime world wide. Eye for an eye is dated, except in the case of tigers poached for tiger penis soup.

Since there is no divine magic from my frame of mind, in lieu of supernatural, higher value has to be gleaned from the natural processes. Nature's beauty can only be appreciated wholly by her diversity. Bio diversity has to be respected above the temporary lives and comfort of humans. There are billions of us. If we do not as a species alter our mindset towards the Earth and the other species we are crowding off of it daily, it will prove that man is evolutions greatest failure. I do not fault the animal for not being able to survive off our scraps or migrate on our roads like rats and racoons.

Other than our friends Metallica, the idea of a God that Failed is something theologians(I use the term liberally to apply it to 'Tallica, admittedly) typically can side step, but as an naturalist, I would much rather not have to believe humanity's and ergo my own existence is evolution's gravest error. If I am fundamentally honest, I believe we probably have already been convicted based on the evidence as is, but never the less I would like to take some effort to try and minimize nature's mistake by correcting and reversing our own.