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Posted by Don Soderberg on May 04, 2003 at 16:43:14:
In Reply to: sadness re: hybrids posted by snakepimp on May 04, 2003 at 10:28:26:
My response below was not an attempt to defend "hybridization". Some of the responses below are accurate, but point out exceptions to the rule. If gopher snakes and king snakes routinely bred to each other in the wild, we'd have to completely abandon the Mendelian system of identification. There would be practically no two snakes alike. Therefore, I respect SNAKEPIMP for taking a conservation stance and being concerned about reckless cross breeding. Corns were meant to breed corns and so on, but dogs used to be wolves too. Now look at the meriad of different breeds we have. The first dachshunds just didn't pop up in a litter of wolves. They were selectively bred with other canines. In some cases, this was done from countless generations of "reckless" cross breeding 'till someone got what they thought was useful. Sound familiar?
It's mostly about pheromone matches. The phermones of one species are often offensive to a different species while they are utteraly irresistable to the same species. There are other timing factors thought to be involved, but it is accurate to note that if hybridization is rare in the wild, people should concentrate on the pure forms changing the colors and paterns. As SNAKEPIMP pointed out, we're having so much fun changing the colors of the nominate race of corns, hybridization is only necessary to those on the extreme edge of our industry.
Nobody would argue that if California condors were down to just a few specimens as they once were, breeding them to similar vultures is not the best way to resurrect the species. It is however the way we sometimes do this with nearly extinct animals. If corns ever get so endangered there is a chance of losing them, I'll be the first to teach that we must keep the bloodlines pure Vs losing the corns we recognize and love. That would also mean only breeding South Dade County, Florida animals only to other South Dade County, Florida animals and so on. Essentially, line breeding.