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Friday, December 18, 2015

Da Bears


Polar bear family tree reveals adoptions and identical twins

Yet again, we see why Discredited Argument #5 is, well, discredited, when it comes to consanguinamory. From newscientist.com comes this report on polar bears...

Image information: Michio Hoshino/Minden Pictures/FLPA

A pedigree of 4449 polar bears in Canada uncovers the family secrets of six generations, including the first reported case of identical polar bear twins, six adoptions and one case of sibling incest.
Interesting.
Based on 45 years of field observations and genetic data, the family tree traces out the complicated histories of the Western Hudson Bay group of polar bears since 1966.

“To me, the presence of identical twins was the most surprising part,” says RenĂ© Malenfant at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Not the incest.
The team also looked at how much inbreeding occurs amongst relatives. Across the entire family tree, they only identified one clear case of incest, between a pair of half-siblings. These had been born to the same mother in different years, but probably had different fathers.
“The rate of inbreeding is quite low, however it seems this is more likely because of lack of opportunity as opposed to active avoidance,” says Malenfant. Since polar bears disperse over large ranges, related bears are unlikely to encounter each other.
For more information...
Journal reference: bioArxiv, DOI: 10.1101/034009
Read more:Polar bear penis bone may be weakened by pollution
Da bears!
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