Discussion:
Lions more canine than feline?
(too old to reply)
Emma
2004-05-04 01:01:47 UTC
Permalink
A guy I know swears blind that a Norwegian scientist [he can't remember the
name] studied lions for years, and decided that lions are more closely
related to canines that other wild cats. I pointed out that the ability to
successfully mate with tigers [to produce tigons & ligers] means that they
are extremely closely related [genetically] with felines, and not at all
with canines [liolf, anyone?] So - has anyone heard of this?
Unfortunately, this guy seems to accept some ULs without question, and isn't
really someone you can argue with. I just want the info for me. I did try
googling for it, but came up nowegian lion-dogs, instead.

Emma
dimestore
2004-05-04 06:09:54 UTC
Permalink
Lion behaviour is closer to wolves than it is to other large cats,
pride/pack that sort of thing.
However, feral domestic cats also exhibit the same behaviour. It certainly
has nothing to do with being related to dogs.
{nospam}@waawa.cx (Lara)
2004-05-04 07:37:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Emma
A guy I know swears blind that a Norwegian scientist [he can't remember the
name] studied lions for years, and decided that lions are more closely
related to canines that other wild cats.
Could he have been confusing lions with paleofelids (Nimravids)? A quick
google reveals that a minority of scientists believe that the catlike
paleofelids are closer to dogs than to cats.

Lara
Richard Fitzpatrick
2004-05-04 11:00:52 UTC
Permalink
Lara wrote...
Post by {nospam}@waawa.cx (Lara)
Post by Emma
A guy I know swears blind that a Norwegian scientist [he can't
remember the name] studied lions for years, and decided that
lions are more closely related to canines that other wild cats.
Could he have been confusing lions with paleofelids (Nimravids)?
Nimverids - the cats that Nimrod kept, perhaps?
Post by {nospam}@waawa.cx (Lara)
A quick google reveals that a minority of scientists believe that
the catlike paleofelids are closer to dogs than to cats.
Perhaps someone is confusing the (apparently) old belief that *cheetahs*
were more closely related to dogs than cats? A cow-orker who was seconded
to our sister-organisation in Kenya for several months avows he was told
this by park wardens. My searching for ["related to dogs" + "cheetah(s)"]
turned up only one disclaimer, but nothing to indicate that modern
scientists believe it.
{nospam}@waawa.cx (Lara)
2004-05-04 12:35:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Perhaps someone is confusing the (apparently) old belief that *cheetahs*
were more closely related to dogs than cats?
Sounds like you might not be far off - I found a few pages asserting
that the cheetah is the "most canid of all felines".

This evolutionary tree:
http://www.carleton.ca/Museum/sabretooth/EVOL.HTM
suggests that the cheetahs diverged early on, and are a separate genus
from the Panthera big cats (lions, leopards, tigers, jaguars). This page
puts them in a separate subfamily altogether:
http://home.globalcrossing.net/~brendel/carniv.html

Lara
Simon Slavin
2004-05-05 20:02:43 UTC
Permalink
On 04/05/2004, Lara wrote in message
Post by {nospam}@waawa.cx (Lara)
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Perhaps someone is confusing the (apparently) old belief that
*cheetahs* were more closely related to dogs than cats?
Sounds like you might not be far off - I found a few pages asserting
that the cheetah is the "most canid of all felines".
http://www.carleton.ca/Museum/sabretooth/EVOL.HTM
suggests that the cheetahs diverged early on, and are a separate genus
from the Panthera big cats (lions, leopards, tigers, jaguars). This page
http://home.globalcrossing.net/~brendel/carniv.html
I object. I with to make a complaint. I'm very annoyed.
When I was at school we were taught that there was a known,
understood 'family tree' of animals. All the well-known
animals had been placed and we could just add a few here and
there when exploring the rainforests.

Since I've been on the internet I've been bombarded by many
different versions of the animal and vegetable trees. Worse
still, none of them claim to be the pure unvarnished truth:
they're all couched in doubt and caveat and under constant
change.

Simon.
--
Using pre-release version of newsreader.
Please tell me if it does weird things.
R H Draney
2004-05-06 00:04:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Slavin
I object. I with to make a complaint. I'm very annoyed.
When I was at school we were taught that there was a known,
understood 'family tree' of animals. All the well-known
animals had been placed and we could just add a few here and
there when exploring the rainforests.
Since I've been on the internet I've been bombarded by many
different versions of the animal and vegetable trees. Worse
they're all couched in doubt and caveat and under constant
change.
What's worse is now you've got three more trees you didn't have when we were in
school....

R H "back in my day, Venus had oceans and Mercury didn't rotate!" Draney
Jonathan Miller
2004-05-07 18:27:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by R H Draney
Post by Simon Slavin
I object. I with to make a complaint. I'm very annoyed.
When I was at school we were taught that there was a known,
understood 'family tree' of animals. All the well-known
animals had been placed and we could just add a few here and
there when exploring the rainforests.
Since I've been on the internet I've been bombarded by many
different versions of the animal and vegetable trees. Worse
they're all couched in doubt and caveat and under constant
change.
What's worse is now you've got three more trees you didn't have when we were in
school....
Or maybe seven, depending on who you want to believe. Depende on how much
you want to split all those single-celled little critters.
Post by R H Draney
R H "back in my day, Venus had oceans and Mercury didn't rotate!" Draney
But Mars had John Carter and Dejah Thoris. Man, did I want to go. Now it's
just dust and rocks.

Jon Miller
R H Draney
2004-05-07 17:53:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Miller
Post by R H Draney
R H "back in my day, Venus had oceans and Mercury didn't rotate!" Draney
But Mars had John Carter and Dejah Thoris. Man, did I want to go. Now it's
just dust and rocks.
"deja vu" - the feeling you've lived through a certain experience before.
"deja lu" - the feeling you've read a certain passage before.
"deja entendu" - the feeling you've heard a certain piece of music before.
"deja thoris" - the feeling you've been on Barsoom before.

....r
Helge Moulding
2004-05-04 16:17:14 UTC
Permalink
Emma wrote,
Post by Emma
A guy I know swears blind that a Norwegian scientist [he can't remember the
name] studied lions for years, and decided that lions are more closely
related to canines that other wild cats.
What kind of studies? I bet genetic studies would show a closer relationship
to cats. Other kinds of studies - who knows?
Post by Emma
I pointed out that the ability to successfully mate with tigers [to
produce tigons & ligers] means that they are extremely closely related
[genetically] with felines, and not at all with canines [liolf, anyone?]
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
foolproof.
Post by Emma
So - has anyone heard of this?
Nope. I remember discussing whether foxes are more like dogs or like cats
(not here in this group, though), but not lions.

http://www.cabi-publishing.org/Bookshop/Readingroom/0851995209/0851995209Ch1.pdf
suggests that dogs and cats are not at all that closely related. And until
someone changes lions from felis leo to something else, I think lions are
cats by the lights of most zoologists.
Post by Emma
Unfortunately, this guy seems to accept
some ULs without question, and isn't really someone you can argue with.
I hesitate to call this a UL. It could acquire the status of science
factoid, the sort that we've discussed here before, if it were to become
something that "everyone knows." As in "everyone knows that incest causes
mostrous mutations." Right now it seems to be one or two persons' perhaps
cooky idea.
--
Helge "Everyone knows that glass fl#&SFS)%#j45n87(*&)h f i*)( ';

NO CARRIER
+++
r***@vt.edu
2004-05-04 17:40:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
Emma wrote,
Post by Emma
I pointed out that the ability to successfully mate with tigers [to
produce tigons & ligers] means that they are extremely closely related
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.

Bill Ranck
Blacksburg, Va.
Charles Wm. Dimmick
2004-05-04 19:41:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
Post by Helge Moulding
foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Not exactly a counterexample, but _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Maine cannot
successfully interbreed with _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Texas.
http://webserver.lemoyne.edu/~szebenyi/0110.htm

Charles
--
"And some rin up hill and down dale, knapping
the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like
sae mony road-makers run daft -- they say it is
to see how the warld was made!"
R H Draney
2004-05-04 20:18:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Not exactly a counterexample, but _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Maine cannot
successfully interbreed with _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Texas.
Cannot or will not?...maybe they just can't stand to be around someone with such
a strange accent....r
Richard Fitzpatrick
2004-05-06 04:01:22 UTC
Permalink
Charles Wm. Dimmick wrote...
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship,
but not foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Not exactly a counterexample, but _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Maine cannot
successfully interbreed with _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Texas.
http://webserver.lemoyne.edu/~szebenyi/0110.htm
Charles, if what you say - "cannot successfully interbreed" - was the
case, I would have said that was an excellent counter-example. But
you've badly misrepresented what that webpage says, which is in fact
"if very distant members of the distribution are brought together
artificially, they *may* not even interbreed at all" [emphasis added
by me].

That indicates to me that they (Texan and Mainese leopard frogs)
probably do usually interbreed when given the opportunity, but are
somewhat less likely to do so than other, more closely domiciled,
leopard frogs.

Richard "from lions and dogs to leopard frogs, oh my" Fitzpatrick
Charles Wm. Dimmick
2004-05-06 11:55:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Charles Wm. Dimmick wrote...
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Not exactly a counterexample, but _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Maine cannot
successfully interbreed with _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Texas.
http://webserver.lemoyne.edu/~szebenyi/0110.htm
Charles, if what you say - "cannot successfully interbreed" - was the
case, I would have said that was an excellent counter-example. But
you've badly misrepresented what that webpage says, which is in fact
"if very distant members of the distribution are brought together
artificially, they *may* not even interbreed at all" [emphasis added
by me].
That indicates to me that they (Texan and Mainese leopard frogs)
probably do usually interbreed when given the opportunity, but are
somewhat less likely to do so than other, more closely domiciled,
leopard frogs.
From the same article:

"The explanation is that genetic differences between adjacent
populations are small, but they do add up through distance to a
sufficient degree to result in hybrid sterility."

In other words, they can try to interbreed all they want,
but all their efforts will come to naught because of
"hybrid sterility".

Charles
--
"And some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the
chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony
road-makers run daft -- they say it is to see how
the warld was made!"
Richard Fitzpatrick
2004-05-07 01:37:35 UTC
Permalink
Charles Wm. Dimmick wrote...
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Charles Wm. Dimmick wrote...
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Not exactly a counterexample, but _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Maine cannot
successfully interbreed with _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Texas.
http://webserver.lemoyne.edu/~szebenyi/0110.htm
Charles, if what you say - "cannot successfully interbreed" - was
the case, I would have said that was an excellent counter-example.
But you've badly misrepresented what that webpage says, which is in
fact "if very distant members of the distribution are brought
together artificially, they *may* not even interbreed at all"
[emphasis added by me].
That indicates to me that they (Texan and Mainese leopard frogs)
probably do usually interbreed when given the opportunity, but are
somewhat less likely to do so than other, more closely domiciled,
leopard frogs.
"The explanation is that genetic differences between adjacent
populations are small, but they do add up through distance to a
sufficient degree to result in hybrid sterility."
In other words, they can try to interbreed all they want,
but all their efforts will come to naught because of
"hybrid sterility".
The "explanation" is an explanation of the article's previous
statement: i.e. why "if very distant members of the distribution are
brought together artificially, they may not even interbreed at all".
It is not an explanation of your claim that "all their efforts will
come to naught."

C'mon, Charles, you're better than this, let's not argue because the
article is very poorly written. It states "they may not interbreed at
all" (with the clear implication that they may well interbreed) and
almost in the next breath says that interbreeding [the widely
separated groups] will "result in hybrid sterility."

I'm just saying that those two statements conflict or at the very
least create ambiguity. If the "may not interbreed" statement were
changed to: "if very distant members of the distribution are brought
together artificially, they usually do not interbreed
successfully"[1], then I probably would have just said "that in fact
seems an excellent counter-example" and left it at that.
--
Richard F.
"...if you keep my mouth sufficiently full, I can't offer any
lines of argument" - Deborah Stevenson gives sound debating
advice in a.f.u.


[1] Which seems to be what the article meant, if not what it said.
Charles Wm. Dimmick
2004-05-07 11:46:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Charles Wm. Dimmick wrote...
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Charles Wm. Dimmick wrote...
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Not exactly a counterexample, but _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Maine cannot
successfully interbreed with _Rana_ _pipiens_ from Texas.
http://webserver.lemoyne.edu/~szebenyi/0110.htm
Charles, if what you say - "cannot successfully interbreed" - was
the case, I would have said that was an excellent counter-example.
But you've badly misrepresented what that webpage says, which is in
fact "if very distant members of the distribution are brought
together artificially, they *may* not even interbreed at all"
[emphasis added by me].
That indicates to me that they (Texan and Mainese leopard frogs)
probably do usually interbreed when given the opportunity, but are
somewhat less likely to do so than other, more closely domiciled,
leopard frogs.
"The explanation is that genetic differences between adjacent
populations are small, but they do add up through distance to a
sufficient degree to result in hybrid sterility."
In other words, they can try to interbreed all they want,
but all their efforts will come to naught because of
"hybrid sterility".
The "explanation" is an explanation of the article's previous
statement: i.e. why "if very distant members of the distribution are
brought together artificially, they may not even interbreed at all".
It is not an explanation of your claim that "all their efforts will
come to naught."
C'mon, Charles, you're better than this, let's not argue because the
article is very poorly written. It states "they may not interbreed at
all" (with the clear implication that they may well interbreed) and
almost in the next breath says that interbreeding [the widely
separated groups] will "result in hybrid sterility."
I'm just saying that those two statements conflict or at the very
least create ambiguity. If the "may not interbreed" statement were
changed to: "if very distant members of the distribution are brought
together artificially, they usually do not interbreed
successfully"[1], then I probably would have just said "that in fact
seems an excellent counter-example" and left it at that.
Please go back and read the entire section in context. It
is quite clear that the use of the term "hybrid sterility"
is being used, in context, to mean sterility between the
two ends of the chain, not in sterility of any offspring.
I repeat the total, in context:
"It is interesting to see that adjacent populations show the features of
primary hybridization along the entire length of the distribution, but
if very distant members of the distribution are brought together
artificially, they may not even interbreed at all. The geographical
extremes of the distribution are reproductively isolated as if they were
not members of the same species. The explanation is that genetic
differences between adjacent populations are small, but they do add up
through distance to a sufficient degree to result in hybrid sterility. "

Added to this is the fact that this primary sterility between
the two ends of the chain is well-known and has been used as
an example in classrooms around the US of A for at least 45
years, perhaps longer.

Perhaps the following URL will make this clearer to you:
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/edu/dees/ees/life/lectures/lect10.html

which uses the phrase "can't interbreed, even if artificially
attempted"

Charles
--
"And some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the
chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony
road-makers run daft -- they say it is to see how
the warld was made!"
Helge Moulding
2004-05-04 23:37:58 UTC
Permalink
ranck wrote,
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Mermaids.

Actually, I can't cite specific counter examples, mostly because what
you're looking for isn't a counter example but a metric that determines
just how closely two species who cannot interbreed are related compared
to two species who can.

The reason for my assertion is that the ability to interbreed depends
on factors that are not related to the actual genetic relationship.
Genetic relationship merely means that closely related species are more
likely to be able to interbreed. That doesn't guarantee that closely
related species can interbreed, nor does it imply that more distantly
related species cannot.
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
David Winsemius
2004-05-05 01:19:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
ranck wrote,
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship,
but not foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Mermaids.
Actually, I can't cite specific counter examples, mostly because what
you're looking for isn't a counter example but a metric that
determines just how closely two species who cannot interbreed are
related compared to two species who can.
The reason for my assertion is that the ability to interbreed depends
on factors that are not related to the actual genetic relationship.
Genetic relationship merely means that closely related species are
more likely to be able to interbreed. That doesn't guarantee that
closely related species can interbreed, nor does it imply that more
distantly related species cannot.
Are you one of those who don't use Keywords? If you won't provide a
counter-example to "closely related" species that cannot interbreed, then
how about an example of a distantly related species that can interbreed? We
are talking here about producing fertile offspring.

The number of chromosomes in all cats (except the ocelot and Geoffrey's
cat) is 38 [1,2], the number in a dog; 78. The idea that any cat is more
closely related genetically to a dog than to any others of the rest of its
Family: Felidae is biologically ridiculous.
--
David "mmmmmmeow mix" Winsemius

If the statistics are boring, then you've got the wrong numbers.
-Edward Tufte

1) http://www.provet.co.uk/cats/evolution%20of%20the%20cat.htm
2) http://members.aol.com/jshartwell/hybrid-bigcats2.html
Helge Moulding
2004-05-05 01:39:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Winsemius
Are you one of those who don't use Keywords?
Keywords: Read for comprehension
Post by David Winsemius
If you won't provide
Can't. I'm no zoologist, and my familiarity with the specifics of the
field is limited.
Post by David Winsemius
The number of chromosomes in all cats (except the ocelot and Geoffrey's
cat) is 38 [1,2], the number in a dog; 78. The idea that any cat is more
closely related genetically to a dog than to any others of the rest of its
Family: Felidae is biologically ridiculous.
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable indicator
of genetic or phylogenic distance. In any case, I'm in no way trying to
defend the idea that a lion is closely related to dogs. I just had a
brief comment that being able to interbreed or not is not in itself
suffient to indicate which species are more closely related.
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
David Winsemius
2004-05-05 03:43:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable indicator
of genetic or phylogenic distance.
You're not? Really? Think about it on the level of high school biology at
least. We are not talking about distance, rather breeding feasibility. A
difference in chromosomal number is certainly a barrier to effective
development in an ovum fertilized by a sperm from a species with a
different chromosomal number. Cells that cannot figure out how to pair up
their chromosomes are going to have some very strange looking mitotic
figures. A very effective killfile mechanism.
--
David "talk about shooting blanks" Winsemius

If the statistics are boring, then you've got the wrong numbers.
-Edward Tufte
Helge Moulding
2004-05-05 05:43:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Winsemius
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable
indicator of genetic or phylogenic distance.
You're not? Really?
I'm not. Thinking about it on my highschool biology level I'm reminded
of a local species of mountain meadow flower. A little while ago (10,000
years or so, I think) it underwent a mutation which exactly doubled its
chromosomes. This type of mutation is actually fairly common (as such
things go) in the plant world. It's even got a name, though I'll be
damned if I can remember it. Diploidi?

Anyway, the point is that the two species are not fertile with each
other, and yet very closely related. In fact, they have exactly the same
genetic material, distributed identically on their chromosomes.

So much for counting chromosomes.

Meanwhile the same little flower may hybridize with various other
species that are closely related, but not as closely as the doubled up
relative.

Sure, you say, but that's a bizarre exception.

Maybe. Maybe everything we find in this area of biology is an exception.
That being the case I'm not overly eager to make generalizations like
"count the chromosomes," or "see if they'll breed."
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
Helge Moulding
2004-05-05 05:58:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
It's even got a name, though I'll be
damned if I can remember it. Diploidi?
Diploidy. I'll be double damned. Sometimes I can't remember my own
name, and then I dredge stuff like this out of my skull.
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
artyw
2004-05-05 17:20:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by Helge Moulding
It's even got a name, though I'll be
damned if I can remember it. Diploidi?
Diploidy. I'll be double damned. Sometimes I can't remember my own
name, and then I dredge stuff like this out of my skull.
Actually it is probably tetraploid. It started out as a diploid (2
copies of each chromosome) and then the chromosome numbered doubled.
Polyploidy is fairly common in plants and can be induced with the
right chemicals. Polyploid plants are often higher in certain plant
compounds such as THC.
Chuk Goodin
2004-05-05 21:43:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by artyw
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by Helge Moulding
It's even got a name, though I'll be
damned if I can remember it. Diploidi?
Diploidy. I'll be double damned. Sometimes I can't remember my own
name, and then I dredge stuff like this out of my skull.
Actually it is probably tetraploid. It started out as a diploid (2
copies of each chromosome) and then the chromosome numbered doubled.
Polyploidy is fairly common in plants and can be induced with the
right chemicals. Polyploid plants are often higher in certain plant
compounds such as THC.
IIR my developmental biology, some plants can even be up to 128-ploid.
--
chuk
Jonathan Miller
2004-05-07 18:36:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by artyw
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by Helge Moulding
It's even got a name, though I'll be
damned if I can remember it. Diploidi?
Diploidy. I'll be double damned. Sometimes I can't remember my own
name, and then I dredge stuff like this out of my skull.
Actually it is probably tetraploid. It started out as a diploid (2
copies of each chromosome) and then the chromosome numbered doubled.
Polyploidy is fairly common in plants and can be induced with the
right chemicals. Polyploid plants are often higher in certain plant
compounds such as THC.
Ah, that's why we grow so much wheat. The THC content.

Jon Miller
r***@vt.edu
2004-05-05 20:32:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
Meanwhile the same little flower may hybridize with various other
species that are closely related, but not as closely as the doubled up
relative.
Well, that actually satisfied my curiosity about an example.
I am, of course, assuming you aren't just making it up. I could
probably go find some references based on your description.

Bill Ranck
Blacksburg, Va.
Burroughs Guy
2004-05-06 00:31:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not. Thinking about it on my highschool biology level I'm reminded
of a local species of mountain meadow flower. A little while ago (10,000
years or so, I think) it underwent a mutation which exactly doubled its
chromosomes. This type of mutation is actually fairly common (as such
things go) in the plant world.
Let me splain sumthin: Animals are different from plants. Polyploidy
happens in plants all the time. In vertebrate animals, it is quite
rare. Not that animal chromosomes don't get scrambled in meiosis
sometimes, but that chance of the progenty living long enough to
breathe, much less procreate is very small. Obviously it happens
sometimes, since we do have animals with various numbers of
chromosomes, but I would guess that the chance of a polyploid animal
producing grandchildren is on the order of one in a trillion.[1]

[1] US/Dutch trillion. British billion.
--
Burroughs "or rarer" Guy
Vaguer memories available upon request
misty
2004-05-06 05:09:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not. Thinking about it on my
highschool biology level I'm reminded
of a local species of mountain meadow
flower. A little while ago (10,000 years
or so, I think) it underwent a mutation
which exactly doubled its
chromosomes. This type of mutation is
actually fairly common (as such things
go) in the plant world.
Let me splain sumthin: Animals are different from plants. Polyploidy
happens in plants all the time. In vertebrate animals, it
is quite rare. Not that animal chromosomes don't get scrambled
in meiosis sometimes, but that chance of the progenty living
long enough to breathe, much less procreate is very small.
Obviously it happens sometimes, since we do have animals with
various numbers of chromosomes, but I would guess that the
chance of a polyploid animal producing grandchildren is on the
order of one in a trillion.[1]
[1] US/Dutch trillion. British billion
The question posed here is just what you are talking about:
http://madsci.wustl.edu/posts/archives/may2001/989331026.Ev.q.html

The answer (too long and interesting to paste it all):
http://madsci.wustl.edu/posts/archives/may2001/989331026.Ev.r.html

"So, to wrap up, changes in chromosome number are not really caused by
mutations. Mutations are changes to the DNA sequence that occur during
DNA replication and repair. Some people might argue that translocations
result in large additions and deletions of DNA sequence, but that is not
what people are generally referring to when they use the term mutations.
Instead, changes to chromosome numbers are brought about when errors
occur in the process of chromosome duplication (of which DNA replication
is only a small part).

Finally, it seems like changes in chromosome number are not the ultimate
barrier to species interbreeding. Some hybrids of species with different
chromosome numbers are fertile, and chromosome pairing is still possible
even when the number of chromosomes is different. It seems possible that
in these cases, speciation occurs as the result of severe inbreeding,
where close relatives share the new number of chromosomes, as well as a
number of other minor differences which might accumulate and result in a
set of behavioral, physical, or biochemical differences that serve to
distinguish the two newly separate species. Of course, that is a topic
for another Mad Scientist question.

I hope this answers some of your questions."


So inbreeding is one way to reproduce and get those grandkids. Also some
"odd man out's" can reproduce with regular "Jennys", resulting in
offspring that in turn can reproduce.

~misty "8675309"
Deborah Stevenson
2004-05-05 13:08:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Winsemius
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable indicator
of genetic or phylogenic distance.
You're not? Really? Think about it on the level of high school biology at
least. We are not talking about distance, rather breeding feasibility.
But we were originally talking about distance, not breeding. And I don't
think that distance was even really defined in the original report, so that the
cheetah/behavior answer, for instance, seemed quite suitable.

A
Post by David Winsemius
difference in chromosomal number is certainly a barrier to effective
development in an ovum fertilized by a sperm from a species with a
different chromosomal number. Cells that cannot figure out how to pair up
their chromosomes are going to have some very strange looking mitotic
figures. A very effective killfile mechanism.
The buggers still get through, though, as those people who have gotten
mules out of mules will tell you.
--
Deborah Stevenson
***@OBSTACLESuiuc.edu
[eliminate OBSTACLES to email me]
Jim Loats
2004-05-05 21:17:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Winsemius
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable indicator
of genetic or phylogenic distance.
You're not? Really? Think about it on the level of high school biology at
least. We are not talking about distance, rather breeding feasibility. A
difference in chromosomal number is certainly a barrier to effective
development in an ovum fertilized by a sperm from a species with a
different chromosomal number. Cells that cannot figure out how to pair up
their chromosomes are going to have some very strange looking mitotic
figures. A very effective killfile mechanism.
Well, no, not really. Chromosome number isn't as important for
fertilization/development as genetic compatibility -- in mitosis,
each chromosome lines up and splits independently of the others so
there don't have to be matching pairs. Meiosis, where the chromosomes
*do* pair up and separate, can be a problem on the other hand and
therefore fertility *of the hybrid offspring* can be affected.

Jim
--
.sig file available upon request
Richard Fitzpatrick
2004-05-06 06:42:43 UTC
Permalink
David Winsemius wrote...
Post by David Winsemius
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable
indicator of genetic or phylogenic distance.
You're not? Really? Think about it on the level of high school biology
at least. We are not talking about distance, rather breeding feasibility.
A difference in chromosomal number is certainly a barrier to effective
development in an ovum fertilized by a sperm from a species with a
different chromosomal number. Cells that cannot figure out how to pair
up their chromosomes are going to have some very strange looking mitotic
figures. A very effective killfile mechanism.
Um, David? The very article you quoted earlier notes that while most
cats have 38 chromosomes and ocelots (and Geoffroy's?) have 36, there
is at least one report of a ocelot(36) x puma(38) mating producing
off-spring.

Admittedly, they didn't survive, but the report indicated this may
have been due to poor post-natal care rather than viability per se.

Admittedly#2, the writer has interesting ideas about how having 19
puma chromosomes and 18 ocelot chromosomes would make said off-spring
more "puma-like".

To further rain on your parade, there are a number of examples of
humans conceived from mis-matching gametes (e.g. either or both ovum
or sperm with 22/24 chromosomes) surviving beyond birth, even to
adulthood. Turner's Syndrome (XO), XYY males, Klinefelter's Syndrome
(XXY, XXXY, etc), and trisomies of C22, C21 (Downes' Syndrome), C20,
C18 (Edward's Syndrome), C13, C10 and C9 just to name a few.

Admittedly#3, some of these individuals may be genetic mosaics (not
every cell of their body may have the extra/missing chromosome) and/or
the trisomy may be incomplete - i.e. the "extra" chromosomal material
may be appended to a "normal" chromosome, rather than floating around
free. Nevertheless, the latter situation also makes for interesting
mitotic challenges, which the mitotic process occasionally seems to
overcome.

Richard "if I turned out to be a Klinefelter/XYY mosaic, that would
explain a lot" Fitzpatrick
Deborah Stevenson
2004-05-06 11:49:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
David Winsemius wrote...
Post by David Winsemius
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable
indicator of genetic or phylogenic distance.
You're not? Really? Think about it on the level of high school biology
at least. We are not talking about distance, rather breeding feasibility.
A difference in chromosomal number is certainly a barrier to effective
development in an ovum fertilized by a sperm from a species with a
different chromosomal number. Cells that cannot figure out how to pair
up their chromosomes are going to have some very strange looking mitotic
figures. A very effective killfile mechanism.
Um, David? The very article you quoted earlier notes that while most
cats have 38 chromosomes and ocelots (and Geoffroy's?) have 36, there
is at least one report of a ocelot(36) x puma(38) mating producing
off-spring.
That's not that hard. It's making *fertile* offspring that's more of a
challenge.

A horse has 32 pair of chromosomes, a donkey 31, and they interbreed all
the time. Contrary to popular belief, mules aren't invariably sterile,
but reproduction is pretty rare. As a process for perpetuating the gene
pool, it's not a great idea.
--
Deborah Stevenson
***@OBSTACLESuiuc.edu
[eliminate OBSTACLES to email me]
Richard Fitzpatrick
2004-05-07 01:12:39 UTC
Permalink
Deborah Stevenson wrote...
Post by Deborah Stevenson
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
David Winsemius wrote...
Post by David Winsemius
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable
indicator of genetic or phylogenic distance.
You're not? Really? Think about it on the level of high school biology
at least. We are not talking about distance, rather breeding feasibility.
A difference in chromosomal number is certainly a barrier to effective
development in an ovum fertilized by a sperm from a species with a
different chromosomal number. Cells that cannot figure out how to pair
up their chromosomes are going to have some very strange looking mitotic
figures. A very effective killfile mechanism.
Um, David? The very article you quoted earlier notes that while most
cats have 38 chromosomes and ocelots (and Geoffroy's?) have 36, there
is at least one report of a ocelot(36) x puma(38) mating producing
off-spring.
That's not that hard. It's making *fertile* offspring that's more of a
challenge.
A horse has 32 pair of chromosomes, a donkey 31, and they interbreed all
the time. Contrary to popular belief, mules aren't invariably sterile,
but reproduction is pretty rare. As a process for perpetuating the gene
pool, it's not a great idea.
No argument there. But David W didn't say that. He said the
different number of chromosomes is a barrier to effective ovum
development. That would prevent any off-spring, not just make the
off-spring sterile.

Really, I'm not trying to irritate David (hi, Dave! *waves*) or argue
whether hybrids will breed or not. It's just that in this thread some
AFU long-termers whom I respect have been displaying unusual (for
them) lack of clarity in their thinking and/or a hitherto-absent
tendency to read what they want into the various cites and articles.

Just on that, I'd like to sincerely thank David W, Lara, CWmD, Helge
and Misty for posting some of the most informative, not to mention
fun-to-read, links I've seen in ages. You each owe me at least half a
day's productivity.
--
"This story got more angry letters than anything I ever
published, including Kaleidoscope Century. Apparently
psychopathic killers are a little disturbing and all that,
but many more people are just not ready for gay wolf sex."
- John Barnes, intro to _Restricted_to_the_Necessary_
David Winsemius
2004-05-07 04:54:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Deborah Stevenson wrote...
Post by Deborah Stevenson
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
David Winsemius wrote...
Post by David Winsemius
Post by Helge Moulding
I'm not convinced that the number of chromosomes is a reliable
indicator of genetic or phylogenic distance.
You're not? Really? Think about it on the level of high school
biology at least. We are not talking about distance, rather
breeding feasibility. A difference in chromosomal number is
certainly a barrier to effective development in an ovum fertilized
by a sperm from a species with a different chromosomal number.
Cells that cannot figure out how to pair up their chromosomes are
going to have some very strange looking mitotic figures. A very
effective killfile mechanism.
Um, David? The very article you quoted earlier notes that while
most cats have 38 chromosomes and ocelots (and Geoffroy's?) have 36,
there is at least one report of a ocelot(36) x puma(38) mating
producing off-spring.
That's not that hard. It's making *fertile* offspring that's more of
a challenge.
A horse has 32 pair of chromosomes, a donkey 31, and they interbreed
all the time. Contrary to popular belief, mules aren't invariably
sterile, but reproduction is pretty rare. As a process for
perpetuating the gene pool, it's not a great idea.
No argument there. But David W didn't say that. He said the
different number of chromosomes is a barrier to effective ovum
development. That would prevent any off-spring, not just make the
off-spring sterile.
Perhaps a difference in chromosomal number is not a totally effective
interspecies barrier, and I erred in attributing the barrier
to mitotic considerations when it is more from meiotic mechanisms, but
I remain convinced that it is a cross-species barrier. Even when the
same species of egg and ovum get together, there is significant wastage.
There are barriers besides chromosomal number as well:
http://fulcrum.physbio.mssm.edu/courses/CORE_II/2002CORE/wassarmanref6.pdf
http://humupd.oupjournals.org/cgi/reprint/5/3/234.pdf
http://members.aol.com/jshartwell/hybrid-mammals.html

If you want to get a bit weirded out, do a search on "interspecies
fertilization" on PubMed. Human spermatozoa are tested by running them
into hamster ova.

In duck interspecies matings, the efficiency of the fertilization is
an economic concern:
http://www.poultryscience.org/psa/toc/papers/01/ps01703.pdf
Also a concern in yak-cattle crosses (a new personal best in wierd
knowledge):
http://www.ivis.org/advances/Zhao/zhang3/chapter_frm.asp

New Zealand insects are recognized as different species on the basis of
chromosome number:
http://awcmee.massey.ac.nz/nzinsects/page2.html
The researchers used hybridization of two chromosome races to develop
evidence regarding the mechanism of insect speciation.
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Really, I'm not trying to irritate David (hi, Dave! *waves*) or argue
whether hybrids will breed or not. It's just that in this thread some
AFU long-termers whom I respect have been displaying unusual (for
them) lack of clarity in their thinking and/or a hitherto-absent
tendency to read what they want into the various cites and articles.
So sue me. Is anyone suggesting that horse-donkey hybridization means they
are the same species? Or that their almost universal sterility doesn't
imply a significant biological distance? (I have read one web page that
claimed that the Goeffrey cat X domestic cat hybrid was fertile. I also
found a MadSci answer that says there is a horse hybrid that is fertile
despite a difference in chromosome number:
http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/may2001/989331026.Ev.r.html)

I pointed out the disparate number of chromosomes in Felidae and canines as
data that I thought would inform the original poster's question
regarding "potential for breeding" as a measure of "similarity". Moulding
then challenged the idea that chromosomal number was a good measure of genetic
distance. It is not a complete measure, since there are only some many
integers below the largest number counted in a normal animal cell. If
two species have different chromosomal number, they are "really" different
species. I have yet to see a cited example of an animal species that has a
variable number of chromosomes. In humans, somatic mutations do create cell
colonies whose cells have variation in chromosomal number. They are called
"cancer". Search on aneuploidy + neoplasm.

Perhaps I should have specified fertile offspring and the capacity for "breeding
true" as a feature of the barrier, but we were talking about speciation and
genetic distance. Such a framework implies that any process need be heritable.
Hybrids are just at an intermediate genetic distance. I stand by my assertion that
if two animals have different chromosomal numbers, that they are almost
always going to have trouble propagating their joint features. The exceptions
noted (human Turner's (XO), human Klinefelter's (XXY), XXXY, autosomal trisomy,
monosomy, tetrasomy) all have greatly reduced chances of reproductive success,
as do most (two possible exceptions found so far) of the hybrids across species
with different chromosomal number. That seems to me to be fairly well
characterized as a biologic barrier. The vast majority of non-dipoid chromosomal
reassortments in animals end up biologically barred from reproduction.
--
David "but plants are really different" Winsemius

If the statistics are boring, then you've got the wrong numbers.
-Edward Tufte
Helge Moulding
2004-05-07 04:21:01 UTC
Permalink
Contrary to popular belief, mules aren't invariably sterile, but
reproduction is pretty rare. As a process for perpetuating the gene
pool, it's not a great idea.
All male mules are sterile. Most female mules are. Stallions or male
donkeys could interbreed with a fertile female mule, but I bet that
produces either a horse or a donkey, depending on the father. Not
another mule.
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
Alan Follett
2004-05-05 01:39:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Winsemius
Are you one of those who don't use
Keywords? If you won't provide a
counter-example to "closely related" species
that cannot interbreed...,
See Charles' post re divergent geographical populations of _Rana_
_pipiens_.
Post by David Winsemius
...then how about an example of a distantly
related species that can interbreed? We are
talking here about producing fertile offspring.
The number of chromosomes in all cats
(except the ocelot and Geoffrey's cat) is 38
[1,2], the number in a dog; 78. The idea that
any cat is more closely related genetically to
a dog than to any others of the rest of its
Family: Felidae is biologically ridiculous.
Agreed; it just happens that in the case of Geoffroy's cat you pushed
one of my nostalgia buttons. As an habitue of Lincoln Park Zoo in the
Fifties, I found these little guys absolutely fascinating, Especially
in the case of melanistic specimens, there was very little to
distinguish them morphologically from yer basic old-world housecat, to
which, of course, on geographical grounds, they could have only a
somewhat remote cladistic relationship.

Alan "and the association with Christoper Smart's cat Jeoffrey is pure
lagniappe" Follett
David Winsemius
2004-05-05 04:05:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Winsemius
If you won't provide a
Post by David Winsemius
counter-example to "closely related" species
that cannot interbreed...,
See Charles' post re divergent geographical populations of _Rana_
_pipiens_.
My guess is that R. pipiens texarkana milt would effectively fertilize R.
pipiens downeaster eggs.
--
David "striped polliwogs" Winsemius

If the statistics are boring, then you've got the wrong numbers.
-Edward Tufte
Charles Wm. Dimmick
2004-05-05 11:22:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Winsemius
Post by David Winsemius
If you won't provide a
Post by David Winsemius
counter-example to "closely related" species
that cannot interbreed...,
See Charles' post re divergent geographical populations of _Rana_
_pipiens_.
My guess is that R. pipiens texarkana milt would effectively fertilize R.
pipiens downeaster eggs.
As I remember the experiments [from 45 years ago, so it
is a little hazy], you could do this, but the resultant
tadpoles never mature, or develop with deformities.

Charles
--
"And some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the
chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony
road-makers run daft -- they say it is to see how
the warld was made!"
Burroughs Guy
2004-05-05 01:57:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
ranck wrote,
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Mermaids.
Actually, I can't cite specific counter examples, mostly because what
you're looking for isn't a counter example but a metric that determines
just how closely two species who cannot interbreed are related compared
to two species who can.
Your original statement was backwards. The ability to interbreed is a
foolproof indicator of relationship. The inability to interbreed is a
strong indicator of being more distant on the family tree, but not
foolproof.

The usual definition of species is that they can interbreed and
produce fertile offspring. If they interbreed but the offspring are
infertile they are the same genus. But this metric has flaws. If a
Chihuahua and a Great Dane can't interbreed due to physical
limitations, are they still the same species? The various species
within Canis can all interbreed with others of compatible size, so are
they all one species?

Taxonomists are now looking at amount of genetic variation to
distinguish genus, family, etc. By this metric, there is no way to
justify separating Pan and Homo into separate genera, but that
becomes a political issue, not a scientific one. Pan and Homo don't
interbreed due to physical limitations: The penis of a male Pan will
not easily fit in the vagina of a female Homo. A male Homo might
impregnate a female Pan, but the resulting progeny would likely have a
cranium too large to fit through the birth canal. If not for physical
limitations, these species might not have diverged. If genetic
species incompatiblities have nto yet set in, it would be possible to
overcome these physical problems in the laboratory. It would be
difficult to get funding for the research.
--
Burroughs Guy
Vaguer memories available upon request
Charles Wm. Dimmick
2004-05-05 02:58:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Burroughs Guy
The usual definition of species is that they can interbreed and
produce fertile offspring.
The Hell you say!!!
Post by Burroughs Guy
If they interbreed but the offspring are
infertile they are the same genus.
Bullshit!

You obviously know nothing about what a species is or
what a Genus is.

Charles
--
"And some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the
chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony
road-makers run daft -- they say it is to see how
the warld was made!"
Charles Wm. Dimmick
2004-05-05 14:12:12 UTC
Permalink
If they interbreed but the offspring are infertile they are the same
genus.
Consider the American Buffalo, _Bison_ _bison_ and the domestic cow
_Bos_ _taurus_. They belong to different genera, and yet they can
interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

The taxonomic rules regarding the naming of Species and Genera have
absolutely nothing to do with determining whether or not two different
groups are capable of breeding and producing fertile offspring. This is
a base canard perpetrated on unsuspecting students by ignorant textbook
authors who have no first-hand experience in the rules of Zoological
Nomenclature. See, for instance:
http://www.iczn.org/
or buy the book: http://www.iczn.org/code.htm

Charles "shamelessly practicing zoological nomenclature since 1960,
the world's oldest profession"
[See the book of Genesis, chapter one, verses 19-20]
--
"And some rin up hill and down dale, knapping
the chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like
sae mony road-makers run daft -- they say it is
to see how the warld was made!"
David DeLaney
2004-05-06 05:53:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Charles "shamelessly practicing zoological nomenclature since 1960,
the world's oldest profession"
[See the book of Genesis, chapter one, verses 19-20]
Adam was -paid- to do that?

Dave "where can I get a job like that?" DeLaney
--
\/David DeLaney posting from ***@vic.com "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
http://www.vic.com/~dbd/ - net.legends FAQ & Magic / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Charles Wm. Dimmick
2004-05-06 11:11:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by David DeLaney
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Charles "shamelessly practicing zoological nomenclature since 1960,
the world's oldest profession"
[See the book of Genesis, chapter one, verses 19-20]
Adam was -paid- to do that?
Room and Board, and Eve.

Charles
--
"And some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the
chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony
road-makers run daft -- they say it is to see how
the warld was made!"
Paul Blay
2004-05-05 14:05:14 UTC
Permalink
"Helge Moulding" wrote ...
Post by Helge Moulding
ranck wrote,
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Mermaids.
Mermaids can and aren't closely related or can't and are?
Post by Helge Moulding
Actually, I can't cite specific counter examples, mostly because what
you're looking for isn't a counter example but a metric that determines
just how closely two species who cannot interbreed are related compared
to two species who can.
ranck was?
Post by Helge Moulding
The reason for my assertion is that the ability to interbreed depends
on factors that are not related to the actual genetic relationship.
Genetic relationship merely means that closely related species are more
likely to be able to interbreed. That doesn't guarantee that closely
related species can interbreed,
Agreed. (Chiwawa + Great Dane effect)
Post by Helge Moulding
nor does it imply that more distantly related species cannot.
Not sure I agree (depending on how picky you are going to be
about the meaning of the inclusion of the words 'more distantly').

My gut expectation would be that being 'closely related species' is
a necessary, but not sufficient, basis for sucessful interbreeding.

For a counter-example how about finding the least genetically similar
species pair* that are known to be able to interbreed and show that
they may not be accurately described as 'closely related'.

* I take it we are sticking to multi-cellular critters from the animal
kingdom.
Helge Moulding
2004-05-05 22:06:55 UTC
Permalink
Paul Blay wrote,
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Mermaids.
Mermaids can and aren't closely related or can't and are?
Are a hybrid of fish and human, two very distantly related species.
Post by Paul Blay
ranck was?
Yes, he was. Looking for a distance metric, that is. He was, after all,
talking about how distantly or how closely dogs and lions might be
related, and whether that could be determined by checking if they could
interbreed.
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
That doesn't guarantee that closely related species can interbreed,
Agreed. (Chiwawa + Great Dane effect)
I wasn't actually talking about the mechanics. If you combined egg
of species A with sperm of species B, would they fertilize? Even if
the numbers of chromosomes matches exactly, and most of the genes
are distributed identically, you may end up with trouble. The most
obvious example would be antigens that prevent fertilization in the
first place.
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
nor does it imply that more distantly related species cannot.
Not sure I agree (depending on how picky you are going to be
about the meaning of the inclusion of the words 'more distantly').
Meaning that if you measured the amount of genotype change from
distantly common ancestor to extant species A, B, and C, and found
that |A-B| is less than, say, |A-C|, and then found that A-C can
breed, you still wouldn't have a guarantee that A-B could breed.
That would depend on the nature of the changes that B has
undergone, not on the distance in time or "design space."
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
Mary Shafer
2004-05-06 00:23:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
Paul Blay wrote,
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Mermaids.
Mermaids can and aren't closely related or can't and are?
Are a hybrid of fish and human, two very distantly related species.
I believe they're chimeras, not hybrids.

Mary "or imaginary"
--
Mary Shafer Retired aerospace research engineer
***@qnet.com
Helge Moulding
2004-05-06 01:53:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mary Shafer
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of
relationship,
Post by Mary Shafer
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by r***@vt.edu
Post by Helge Moulding
but not foolproof.
Can you cite a counter-example? Not being confrontational, just
trying to learn something new.
Mermaids.
Mermaids can and aren't closely related or can't and are?
Are a hybrid of fish and human, two very distantly related species.
I believe they're chimeras, not hybrids.
Hah! You can't fool me: I *know* what a Chimera looks like, and it's
not a mermaid:
Loading Image...
Loading Image...

Anyway, if we're going to assume that mermaids are real, then they are
probably not chimeras. The term is used to describe an organism where
some of its tissue has changed - through somatic mutation or whatever -
to become different from the rest of the organism's tissue. It's a
common occurance in plants. (Notice how a lot of this weird shit is
common in plants, but not in animals? I think it's because plants are
harder to kill than animals.) But it would mean that two human parents
might produce a mermaid offspring. I never heard of any such thing, but
then it's not something most parents would brag about. However, the
offspring of mermaids would then be human, or fish, or maybe something
else entirely, not more mermaids.

Horticulturists actually manufacture chimeras by grafting different
species on a common root stock. My grandfather had a tree that grew a
couple of kinds of apples, plus one kind of pears (says my memory, which
may be wrong on the specifics). It did very well. So perhaps mermaids
are the product of some illegal tissue grafting experiments, after years
of trying to get dolphins to help out with hitting military objectives.
We do know, thanks to J.M. Barrie's on the spot reporting, that mermaids
are much more warlike than dolphins. Their main drawback is that they
keep trying to kiss you, which is annoying when you're on a mission.

On the other hand, there's no reason why they might not be a fish-human
hybrid. Other interspecies hybrids are similar in that they attain
phenotypic traits from both parent stocks. Moreover, if you're lucky the
hybrid will breed true.
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
Paul Blay
2004-05-06 09:24:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
Paul Blay wrote,
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
Mermaids.
Mermaids can and aren't closely related or can't and are?
Are a hybrid of fish and human, two very distantly related species.
Ah. I was thinking of whether (or not) humans can interbreed
successfully with mermaids. I hope you've got a good cite that
mermaids are hybrids - not a dolphin-esque offshoot of the
primate line.
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
nor does it imply that more distantly related species cannot.
Not sure I agree (depending on how picky you are going to be
about the meaning of the inclusion of the words 'more distantly').
Meaning that if you measured the amount of genotype change from
distantly common ancestor to extant species A, B, and C, and found
that |A-B| is less than, say, |A-C|, and then found that A-C can
breed, you still wouldn't have a guarantee that A-B could breed.
Yes, but that wasn't what I was getting at.

Regardless of A-B, is there an A-C that can breed but is not
'closely related'?

In other words I assert that if lions can breed with tigers they are
closely related but lions not breeding with wolves doesn't show they
aren't closely related.
Helge Moulding
2004-05-07 04:17:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Blay
Post by Helge Moulding
Meaning that if you measured the amount of genotype change from
distantly common ancestor to extant species A, B, and C, and found
that |A-B| is less than, say, |A-C|, and then found that A-C can
breed, you still wouldn't have a guarantee that A-B could breed.
Yes, but that wasn't what I was getting at.
Maybe you think so. I'm here to tell you what you're getting at.
Post by Paul Blay
Regardless of A-B, is there an A-C that can breed but is not
'closely related'?
Why are you putting closely related in quotes? What do you mean by
closely related?

Humans and chimps are closely related. Don't know if they can
interbreed. Thing is, I know for a fact that lions and tigers are not as
closely related as humans and chimps, and lions and tigers are able to
interbreed, at least by in vitro fertilization. So what's closely
related? When does it matter?

Nature had an article back in April 2001 by Kurt Lewin, who talks about
more problems with what we mean by closely related:

"Now that molecular biologists are producing phylogenetic trees (which
when congruent, we must consider irrefutable evidence for evolutionary
pathways) a host of new problems arise. Because crocodiles are believed
to be more closely related to birds than they are to turtles, for
example, are sparrows just feathered reptiles, and does ornithology
become merely a branch of herpetology? Hippos may be closer to whales
than they are to their fellow ungulates such as pigs, so should
librarians move hippo books down among the cetaceans? The lobe-finned
coelacanth Latimeria [a fish] is closer to humans than it is to
herrings--so what price ichthyology?"

What it boils down to is that the ability to interbreed is affected by
specific changes to the organism, not random accumulated change. If a
single specific change affects, for example, the surface proteins of the
ovum, or the sperm, or alters the shape of a key protein needed for
mitosis, then it doesn't matter if nothing else has changed. Those two
species will not be able to interbreed.
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
Paul Blay
2004-05-07 09:10:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
Post by Paul Blay
Regardless of A-B, is there an A-C that can breed but is not
'closely related'?
Why are you putting closely related in quotes?
Because it's not a very clear concept and as such what I think it means,
you think it means and the bloke down the street thinks it means are
likely to be significantly different.
Post by Helge Moulding
What do you mean by closely related?
Well I'd be tempted to base it on the minium number of transforms
to the genetic sequence which are required to go from one to the
other. However that doesn't account for a whole bunch of technical
stuff which I don't know enough about to comment on.
Post by Helge Moulding
Humans and chimps are closely related. Don't know if they can
interbreed. Thing is, I know for a fact that lions and tigers are not as
closely related as humans and chimps, and lions and tigers are able to
interbreed, at least by in vitro fertilization.
And your point is?
Post by Helge Moulding
So what's closely related? When does it matter?
Certain definitions of 'closely related' are of significance in certain situations.
e.g. Getting married, needing a transplant, or - indeed - producing phylogenetic
trees.
Post by Helge Moulding
Nature had an article back in April 2001 by Kurt Lewin, who talks about
"Now that molecular biologists are producing phylogenetic trees (which
when congruent, we must consider irrefutable evidence for evolutionary
pathways) a host of new problems arise. Because crocodiles are believed
to be more closely related to birds than they are to turtles, for
example, are sparrows just feathered reptiles, and does ornithology
become merely a branch of herpetology? Hippos may be closer to whales
than they are to their fellow ungulates such as pigs, so should
librarians move hippo books down among the cetaceans? The lobe-finned
coelacanth Latimeria [a fish] is closer to humans than it is to
herrings--so what price ichthyology?"
Which is all very well but the answer to the above is 'No'.
Post by Helge Moulding
What it boils down to is that the ability to interbreed is affected by
specific changes to the organism, not random accumulated change. If a
single specific change affects, for example, the surface proteins of the
ovum, or the sperm, or alters the shape of a key protein needed for
mitosis, then it doesn't matter if nothing else has changed. Those two
species will not be able to interbreed.
Which I haven't been arguing against. I'm simply proposing that while
not being able to interbreed is not proof of a distant relationship
being able to interbreed is evidence of close relationship.

All you need as a counter example is a pair of species that can
interbreed but are not considered to be closely related.
Charles Wm. Dimmick
2004-05-07 12:04:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Blay
All you need as a counter example is a pair of species that can
interbreed but are not considered to be closely related.
So, what was wrong with my _Bison_ _bison_ x _Bos_ _taurus_
example? Members of two different Genera, not just two different
species, able to breed and produce fertile offspring.

It is examples like this which have caused systematists to
throw up their hands and abandon any attempt to do taxonomy
on the basis of "mate and produce fertile offspring". It was
a good idea, but it just doesn't work. Besides which, in the
groups with which I work, it is all but impossible to be
able to do any breeding experiments. The Catalogue of
Foraminifera, for example, which runs to over one hundred
volumes, names and describes over 60,000 species of
Foraminifera. Breeding experiments have been conducted on
only TWO of those 60,000 species.

Charles
--
"And some rin up hill and down dale, knapping the
chucky stanes to pieces wi' hammers, like sae mony
road-makers run daft -- they say it is to see how
the warld was made!"
David Winsemius
2004-05-08 00:27:34 UTC
Permalink
Charles Wm. Dimmick wrote in news:gXKmc.1974$yV6.1609
Post by Charles Wm. Dimmick
Post by Paul Blay
All you need as a counter example is a pair of species that can
interbreed but are not considered to be closely related.
So, what was wrong with my _Bison_ _bison_ x _Bos_ _taurus_
example? Members of two different Genera, not just two different
species, able to breed and produce fertile offspring.
It is examples like this which have caused systematists to
throw up their hands and abandon any attempt to do taxonomy
on the basis of "mate and produce fertile offspring". It was
a good idea, but it just doesn't work. Besides which, in the
groups with which I work, it is all but impossible to be
able to do any breeding experiments. The Catalogue of
Foraminifera, for example, which runs to over one hundred
volumes, names and describes over 60,000 species of
Foraminifera. Breeding experiments have been conducted on
only TWO of those 60,000 species.
So get out your laptop and whip out an RO1.
--
David "" Winsemius

If the statistics are boring, then you've got the wrong numbers.
-Edward Tufte
Helge Moulding
2004-05-07 15:46:06 UTC
Permalink
Paul Blay wrote,
Post by Paul Blay
All you need as a counter example is a pair of species that can
interbreed but are not considered to be closely related.
Right. I think you're arguing a priori: if they can interbreed, then
they are closely related. If they cannot, then they are not closely
related. If I point out that lions and tigers aren't actually that
closely related you come back with, but they are: after all, they
can interbreed.

That's why your dismissal of my carefully argued points hurts so: to
be put aside for mere fallacies. Excuse me while I sob quietly.
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
Deborah Stevenson
2004-05-07 19:29:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
Why are you putting closely related in quotes? What do you mean by
closely related?
That may be the problem right there--nobody's defined it in the whole
thread, and Emma herself has indicated that her reported claimant may not
have the most rigorous scientific view of the matter.
Post by Helge Moulding
Humans and chimps are closely related. Don't know if they can
interbreed. Thing is, I know for a fact that lions and tigers are not as
closely related as humans and chimps, and lions and tigers are able to
interbreed, at least by in vitro fertilization. So what's closely
related? When does it matter?
Can you explain how you're defining it so as to get these results?
--
Deborah Stevenson
***@OBSTACLESuiuc.edu
[eliminate OBSTACLES to email me]
Helge Moulding
2004-05-08 02:47:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Deborah Stevenson
Post by Helge Moulding
Humans and chimps are closely related. Don't know if they can
interbreed. Thing is, I know for a fact that lions and tigers are not as
closely related as humans and chimps, and lions and tigers are able to
interbreed, at least by in vitro fertilization. So what's closely
related? When does it matter?
Can you explain how you're defining it so as to get these results?
Damn. No, I can't. At least one of the measurs on which I was certain -
distance of most recent common ancestor - humans and chimps go about as
far back as lions and tigers. I was sure I'd read somewhere that lions
and tigers go back a lot further than a mere 5 million or so years.

I wasn't able to find anything on the amount of DNA that the big cats
have in common. I thought the number was around 98%. Humans and chimps
are currently rated at 99.4%, but that's a new interpretation of genetic
information, which probably also affects the 98% number I have for lions
and tigers.

So I'll have to just wave my arms and say, "because I say so."
--
Helge Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
Charles Bishop
2004-05-08 15:38:54 UTC
Permalink
In article <c7hhku$ipb$***@terabinaries.xmission.com>, ***@excite.com wrote:

[snip request for cite]
Post by Helge Moulding
I wasn't able to find anything on the amount of DNA that the big cats
have in common. I thought the number was around 98%. Humans and chimps
are currently rated at 99.4%, but that's a new interpretation of genetic
information, which probably also affects the 98% number I have for lions
and tigers.
So I'll have to just wave my arms and say, "because I say so."
Don't forget to stamp your feet, too.

charles, it adds versimilitude
Helge Moulding
2004-05-09 02:20:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by Helge Moulding
So I'll have to just wave my arms and say, "because I say so."
Don't forget to stamp your feet, too.
charles, it adds versimilitude
But it makes me look petulant.
--
Helge "Pouting" Moulding
mailto:***@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name
Simon Slavin
2004-05-06 19:56:52 UTC
Permalink
On 05/05/2004, Paul Blay wrote in message
Post by Paul Blay
My gut expectation would be that being 'closely related species' is
a necessary, but not sufficient, basis for sucessful interbreeding.
For a counter-example how about finding the least genetically similar
species pair* that are known to be able to interbreed and show that
they may not be accurately described as 'closely related'.
Do you know about the seagulls ? I think they're seagulls.

I'm going to start at a particular spot somewhere on earth and
call it point 'A'. Purely by good luck, it happens to be a
highly significant point, but I'll get back to that later.
At point there happens to be a flock of seagulls with an
unremarkable genetic makeup. I'm going to call them type 'A'
seagulls.

A little to the east of point 'A' is point 'B' where you can
find another type of seagulls, type 'B', with a slightly
different genetic makeup. But that's okay because type 'A'
and type 'B' seagulls can interbreed.

Just over the hill to the east of point 'B' is point 'C'
which has its own flock of seagulls, type 'C'. Types 'B' and
'C' seagulls can interbreed. Further on still you can find
points 'D', 'E', 'F', etc, each with their own slightly
different types of seagull. Each type can interbreed with the
two types each side of it.

Eventually you get all the way around the earth to point
'Z' which its own flock and everything has gone fine so far
but point 'Z' is interesting: we've come all the way around
the world and are now back next to point 'A'. So we have two
types of seagull, 'Z' and 'A' next to one-another. And as it
happens, they can't interbreed because they're too different
from one-another.

This is the one amazing example in biology which tends to make
biologists say 'err ... um' a lot when talking about genetic
compatibility.

Simon.
--
Using pre-release version of newsreader.
Please tell me if it does weird things.
r***@vt.edu
2004-05-07 16:35:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Slavin
Do you know about the seagulls ? I think they're seagulls.
I'm going to start at a particular spot somewhere on earth and
call it point 'A'. Purely by good luck, it happens to be a
highly significant point, but I'll get back to that later.
At point there happens to be a flock of seagulls with an
unremarkable genetic makeup. I'm going to call them type 'A'
seagulls.
<snip>
Post by Simon Slavin
points 'D', 'E', 'F', etc, each with their own slightly
different types of seagull. Each type can interbreed with the
two types each side of it.
Eventually you get all the way around the earth to point
'Z' which its own flock and everything has gone fine so far
but point 'Z' is interesting: we've come all the way around
the world and are now back next to point 'A'. So we have two
types of seagull, 'Z' and 'A' next to one-another. And as it
happens, they can't interbreed because they're too different
from one-another.
I think I heard this as applying to puffins, but nevermind.
Are you saying this is true and documented? I'd always sort
of dismissed it as a UL of sorts. Could be true, but seemed
like too good of a story/example to be 100% as presented.
Post by Simon Slavin
This is the one amazing example in biology which tends to make
biologists say 'err ... um' a lot when talking about genetic
compatibility.
Of course in the version I heard the Z and A populations could
interbreed.

Bill 'or was I just trolled?' Ranck
Blacksburg, Va.
Evan Kirshenbaum
2004-05-07 19:38:29 UTC
Permalink
Eventually you get all the way around the earth to point 'Z' which
its own flock and everything has gone fine so far but point 'Z' is
interesting: we've come all the way around the world and are now
back next to point 'A'. So we have two types of seagull, 'Z' and
'A' next to one-another. And as it happens, they can't interbreed
because they're too different from one-another.
Actually, it's usually even better. Not only are the two ends next to
one another, they actually occupy the same area--there's overlap.
I think I heard this as applying to puffins, but nevermind. Are you
saying this is true and documented? I'd always sort of dismissed it
as a UL of sorts. Could be true, but seemed like too good of a
story/example to be 100% as presented.
They certainly exist. Google for "ring species" and you'll find many
believable references. The most studied example is the herring gull,
which rings the Pole, with the area of overlap in the UK, where both
ends exist and don't interbreed. Another well-studied example is a
ring of salamanders around the Central Valley in California. There's
also a ring of warblers around the Tibetan Plateau. No puffins that I
can find.
--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |You cannot solve problems with the
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |same type of thinking that created
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |them.
| Albert Einstein
***@hpl.hp.com
(650)857-7572

http://www.kirshenbaum.net/
David Winsemius
2004-05-08 00:30:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Slavin
On 05/05/2004, Paul Blay wrote in message
Post by Paul Blay
My gut expectation would be that being 'closely related species' is
a necessary, but not sufficient, basis for sucessful interbreeding.
For a counter-example how about finding the least genetically similar
species pair* that are known to be able to interbreed and show that
they may not be accurately described as 'closely related'.
Do you know about the seagulls ? I think they're seagulls.
I'm going to start at a particular spot somewhere on earth and
call it point 'A'. Purely by good luck, it happens to be a
highly significant point, but I'll get back to that later.
At point there happens to be a flock of seagulls with an
unremarkable genetic makeup. I'm going to call them type 'A'
seagulls.
A little to the east of point 'A' is point 'B' where you can
find another type of seagulls, type 'B', with a slightly
different genetic makeup. But that's okay because type 'A'
and type 'B' seagulls can interbreed.
Just over the hill to the east of point 'B' is point 'C'
which has its own flock of seagulls, type 'C'. Types 'B' and
'C' seagulls can interbreed. Further on still you can find
points 'D', 'E', 'F', etc, each with their own slightly
different types of seagull. Each type can interbreed with the
two types each side of it.
Eventually you get all the way around the earth to point
'Z' which its own flock and everything has gone fine so far
but point 'Z' is interesting: we've come all the way around
the world and are now back next to point 'A'. So we have two
types of seagull, 'Z' and 'A' next to one-another. And as it
happens, they can't interbreed because they're too different
from one-another.
This is the one amazing example in biology which tends to make
biologists say 'err ... um' a lot when talking about genetic
compatibility.
I think CWD offered the Rana pipiens complex as a similar example.
--
David "makes _life_ interesting" Winsemius

If the statistics are boring, then you've got the wrong numbers.
-Edward Tufte
artyw
2004-05-05 17:16:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Helge Moulding
Emma wrote,
Post by Emma
A guy I know swears blind that a Norwegian scientist [he can't remember the
name] studied lions for years, and decided that lions are more closely
related to canines that other wild cats.
What kind of studies? I bet genetic studies would show a closer relationship
to cats. Other kinds of studies - who knows?
Post by Emma
I pointed out that the ability to successfully mate with tigers [to
produce tigons & ligers] means that they are extremely closely related
[genetically] with felines, and not at all with canines [liolf, anyone?]
The ability to interbreed is a strong indicator of relationship, but not
foolproof.
Post by Emma
So - has anyone heard of this?
Nope. I remember discussing whether foxes are more like dogs or like cats
(not here in this group, though), but not lions.
Someone once told me about a "Dogat" dog/cat hybrid. They took the
idea seriously, they weren't describing Jackalopes.
R H Draney
2004-05-05 18:54:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by artyw
Post by Helge Moulding
Nope. I remember discussing whether foxes are more like dogs or like cats
(not here in this group, though), but not lions.
Someone once told me about a "Dogat" dog/cat hybrid. They took the
idea seriously, they weren't describing Jackalopes.
And if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more
like rhubarb than prunes do....

R H "this thread needed a Groucho quote about now" Draney
Richard Fitzpatrick
2004-05-07 01:09:04 UTC
Permalink
artyw wrote...
Helge Moulding wrote...
Post by Helge Moulding
I remember discussing whether foxes are more like dogs or like cats
(not here in this group, though), but not lions.
Someone once told me about a "Dogat" dog/cat hybrid. They took the
idea seriously, they weren't describing Jackalopes.
That's "Catdog". One of animation's modern classics.
<http://www.nick.com/all_nick/tv_supersites/catdog_new/index.jhtml>
Simon Slavin
2004-05-08 21:18:15 UTC
Permalink
On 06/05/2004, Richard Fitzpatrick wrote in message
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
artyw wrote...
Helge Moulding wrote...
Post by Helge Moulding
I remember discussing whether foxes are more like dogs or like cats
(not here in this group, though), but not lions.
Someone once told me about a "Dogat" dog/cat hybrid. They took the
idea seriously, they weren't describing Jackalopes.
That's "Catdog". One of animation's modern classics.
<http://www.nick.com/all_nick/tv_supersites/catdog_new/index.jhtml>
How does it go to the toilet ?

Simon.
--
Using pre-release version of newsreader.
Please tell me if it does weird things.
Emma
2004-05-05 11:49:23 UTC
Permalink
Thanks, everyone.

Emma
Post by Emma
A guy I know swears blind that a Norwegian scientist [he can't remember the
name] studied lions for years, and decided that lions are more closely
related to canines that other wild cats. I pointed out that the ability to
successfully mate with tigers [to produce tigons & ligers] means that they
are extremely closely related [genetically] with felines, and not at all
with canines [liolf, anyone?] So - has anyone heard of this?
Unfortunately, this guy seems to accept some ULs without question, and isn't
really someone you can argue with. I just want the info for me. I did try
googling for it, but came up nowegian lion-dogs, instead.
Emma
Trystero4
2004-05-05 18:02:42 UTC
Permalink
Sheesh...you guys and your complicated science and book-learning. The way to
settle the "are lions/cheetahs etc more canine than feline " argument is to get
a tennis ball, show it to the animal, then PRETEND to throw it...if the
lion/cheetah is faked out then it is more canine. If it stares at you with a
look that could best be described as contempt, then it is more feline.


.
If you can read this thank a teacher.
If you can read this in english thank a veteran.
Emma
2004-05-06 03:19:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Trystero4
Sheesh...you guys and your complicated science and book-learning. The way to
settle the "are lions/cheetahs etc more canine than feline " argument is to get
a tennis ball, show it to the animal, then PRETEND to throw it...if the
lion/cheetah is faked out then it is more canine. If it stares at you with a
look that could best be described as contempt, then it is more feline.
I may just take this to him! I know he wouldn't be interested in anything
scientific.

Emma
Post by Trystero4
.
If you can read this thank a teacher.
If you can read this in english thank a veteran.
David DeLaney
2004-05-06 05:52:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Trystero4
Sheesh...you guys and your complicated science and book-learning. The way to
settle the "are lions/cheetahs etc more canine than feline " argument is to get
a tennis ball, show it to the animal, then PRETEND to throw it...if the
lion/cheetah is faked out then it is more canine. If it stares at you with a
look that could best be described as contempt, then it is more feline.
...And if it bites off the hand with the tennis ball still in it?

Dave "just curious/testing" DeLaney
--
\/David DeLaney posting from ***@vic.com "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
http://www.vic.com/~dbd/ - net.legends FAQ & Magic / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
John Francis
2004-05-06 06:14:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by David DeLaney
Post by Trystero4
Sheesh...you guys and your complicated science and book-learning. The way to
settle the "are lions/cheetahs etc more canine than feline " argument is to get
a tennis ball, show it to the animal, then PRETEND to throw it...if the
lion/cheetah is faked out then it is more canine. If it stares at you with a
look that could best be described as contempt, then it is more feline.
...And if it bites off the hand with the tennis ball still in it?
Dave "just curious/testing" DeLaney
That was my immediate reaction, too. Any self-respecting feline
would definitely consider that as a viable option.

What's all this fake stuff, anyway? Just go ahead and throw the ball.
The canine can chase it, if it feels like it. But the feline won't
bother with any such demeaning (not to mention energy-squandering) act.
--
Hello. My name is Darth Vader. I am your Father. Prepare to die.
R H Draney
2004-05-06 07:12:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Francis
Post by David DeLaney
Post by Trystero4
Sheesh...you guys and your complicated science and book-learning. The way to
settle the "are lions/cheetahs etc more canine than feline " argument is to get
a tennis ball, show it to the animal, then PRETEND to throw it...if the
lion/cheetah is faked out then it is more canine. If it stares at you with a
look that could best be described as contempt, then it is more feline.
...And if it bites off the hand with the tennis ball still in it?
Dave "just curious/testing" DeLaney
That was my immediate reaction, too. Any self-respecting feline
would definitely consider that as a viable option.
So, in conclusion, sewergators are related to the cat family....

R H "and jackalopes to the Katz family of Coral Gables" Draney
Lizz Holmans
2004-05-06 10:30:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Francis
That was my immediate reaction, too. Any self-respecting feline
would definitely consider that as a viable option.
What's all this fake stuff, anyway? Just go ahead and throw the ball.
The canine can chase it, if it feels like it. But the feline won't
bother with any such demeaning (not to mention energy-squandering) act.
Then my cat Morse must be a dog, because he plays fetch with various
items (raw green beans are his favorite) but he'll chase just about
any old kind of tat small enough to carry easily in his mouth. And he
usually initiates the game.

Kavanagh the Welsh Wales cat will chase a thrown object, but will not
return it.

And I've never had a dog I could teach to fetch anything.

Lizz 'I don't fetch nuthin'--that's why I got married' Holmans
Burroughs Guy
2004-05-06 22:21:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lizz Holmans
Then my cat Morse must be a dog, because he plays fetch with various
items (raw green beans are his favorite) but he'll chase just about
any old kind of tat small enough to carry easily in his mouth. And he
usually initiates the game.
Princess Blankitty Blanc played fetch in her youth. She mainly
fetched little foam golf balls, but she occasionally fetched other
toys, and one day we played fetch with a little piece of wood.

One day I was sitting on the couch with my friend Mike. Blank jumped
on the couch and dropped a ball in his lap. I said "She brought her
ball for you to throw it and play fetch." He tossed it and saw her
run and said "Oh you have a fetch kitty." He said it as though he had
known many fetch kitties, but then as she dropped the ball in his lap
again he added, "I've never heard of a cat that plays fetch."

But Blank is no dog. She played fetch like a cat. Whenever I made it
clear where I wanted her to bring the ball, she would bring it
anywhere else. I would sit at the top of the stairs, and I wanted her
to put it next to me. She would put the ball two steps below me, or
she would walk around and drop it behind me. If I pretended to throw,
but nothing came out of my hand, she stood and stared at my hand. If
I threw two balls, she stared at me. It was not long after her first
birthday that she stopped fetching. She decided that live critters
were much more fun. Now she's an arthritic old lady and doesn't run
at all.
--
Burroughs Guy
Vaguer memories available upon request
R H Draney
2004-05-06 22:57:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Burroughs Guy
Princess Blankitty Blanc played fetch in her youth. She mainly
fetched little foam golf balls, but she occasionally fetched other
toys, and one day we played fetch with a little piece of wood.
My grandfather's blue-point, Yen, not only played fetch but believed that he'd
invented the concept...a "fetch" (noun) was defined as a wadded-up pipe
cleaner....r
Karen J. Cravens
2004-05-07 00:13:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by R H Draney
Post by Burroughs Guy
Princess Blankitty Blanc played fetch in her youth. She mainly
fetched little foam golf balls, but she occasionally fetched other
toys, and one day we played fetch with a little piece of wood.
My grandfather's blue-point, Yen, not only played fetch but believed
that he'd invented the concept...a "fetch" (noun) was defined as a
wadded-up pipe cleaner....r
The aforementioned Buddha plays fetch with balls exclusively, but carries
around and keeps to himself nearly everything else, from wood to Hot
Wheels cars to scissors. He looks like a seal point Himalayan, but I
think if we shaved him we might find a ferret. Okay, a ferret with a
major potbelly.
--
Karen J. Cravens
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-05-07 01:58:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Karen J. Cravens
Post by R H Draney
Post by Burroughs Guy
Princess Blankitty Blanc played fetch in her youth. She
mainly fetched little foam golf balls, but she occasionally
fetched other toys, and one day we played fetch with a
little piece of wood.
My grandfather's blue-point, Yen, not only played fetch but
believed that he'd invented the concept...a "fetch" (noun)
was defined as a wadded-up pipe cleaner....r
The aforementioned Buddha plays fetch with balls
exclusively, but carries around and keeps to himself nearly
everything else, from wood to Hot Wheels cars to scissors.
He looks like a seal point Himalayan, but I think if we
shaved him we might find a ferret. Okay, a ferret with a
major potbelly.
CeeCee prefered plastic-wrapped hard candies, but any small-ish
sort of round object would do. The candies she would unzip a
purse to get to, and would "hide" when done playing. Her choice
of hiding spots wasn't so great, though. For a long while she
dropped them in the toilet, and was very upset when they were
gone later. She then used Chet's shoes and boots, then settled
on under the couch or in the couch cushions (literally, with the
old couch).
--
TeaLady / mari conroy

"The adjectivisation of our nounal units will be greeted with
disconcertion by elders" Simon on the status of English as she
is spake.

Forget the clue by 4. I want an iron :
http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/clueiron/
Karen J. Cravens
2004-05-07 02:44:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
CeeCee prefered plastic-wrapped hard candies, but any small-ish
sort of round object would do. The candies she would unzip a
purse to get to, and would "hide" when done playing. Her choice
of hiding spots wasn't so great, though. For a long while she
dropped them in the toilet, and was very upset when they were
gone later. She then used Chet's shoes and boots, then settled
on under the couch or in the couch cushions (literally, with the
old couch).
We never did find most of Havoc's little foam balls. We expected them to
come rolling out of the couch or something when we moved, but they didn't.
We're not sure if they dissolved or what...
--
Karen J. Cravens
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-05-07 02:47:32 UTC
Permalink
begin "TeaLa
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
CeeCee prefered plastic-wrapped hard candies, but any
small-ish sort of round object would do. The candies she
would unzip a purse to get to, and would "hide" when done
playing. Her choice of hiding spots wasn't so great,
though. For a long while she dropped them in the toilet,
and was very upset when they were gone later. She then
used Chet's shoes and boots, then settled on under the
couch or in the couch cushions (literally, with the old
couch).
We never did find most of Havoc's little foam balls. We
expected them to come rolling out of the couch or something
when we moved, but they didn't. We're not sure if they
dissolved or what...
If he is at all like a few of my other cats, he loved them into
particles.
--
Tea"lick lick purrrr bite purrrrr lick lick"Lady / mari conroy

"The adjectivisation of our nounal units will be greeted with
disconcertion by elders" Simon on the status of English as she
is spake.

Forget the clue by 4. I want an iron :
http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/clueiron/
Lizz Holmans
2004-05-07 09:12:25 UTC
Permalink
On 7 May 2004 02:44:26 GMT, "Karen J. Cravens"
Post by Karen J. Cravens
We never did find most of Havoc's little foam balls. We expected them to
come rolling out of the couch or something when we moved, but they didn't.
We're not sure if they dissolved or what...
Morse is a very determined hunter and rarely loses his tat unless we
dumb humans have thrown it someplace inaccessible (like behind the
wardrobe). I have seen him search for a full ten minutes before giving
up--and even then he doesn't totally give up.

Lizz 'Otherwise we'd be ass-deep in green beans' Holmans
Karen J. Cravens
2004-05-07 12:59:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lizz Holmans
Morse is a very determined hunter and rarely loses his tat unless we
dumb humans have thrown it someplace inaccessible (like behind the
wardrobe). I have seen him search for a full ten minutes before giving
up--and even then he doesn't totally give up.
So far as we can tell, Havoc never actually *lost* them, but rather
*cached* them.
--
Karen J. Cravens
Richard Fitzpatrick
2004-05-07 02:11:53 UTC
Permalink
Burroughs Guy wrote...
Post by Burroughs Guy
Post by Lizz Holmans
Then my cat Morse must be a dog, because he plays fetch with various
items (raw green beans are his favorite) but he'll chase just about
any old kind of tat small enough to carry easily in his mouth. And he
usually initiates the game.
Princess Blankitty Blanc played fetch in her youth. She mainly
fetched little foam golf balls, but she occasionally fetched other
toys, and one day we played fetch with a little piece of wood.
You still listening, Emma? I think we just proved that cats are more
canine than feline, and therefore lions are too.
"Go not to Usenet for answers, for they will say both yes and
no and 'try another newsgroup'."
-- attributed to Chris Croughton

Hmmm... not sure we've tried that last option yet.
JoAnne Schmitz
2004-05-08 18:36:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Fitzpatrick
Burroughs Guy wrote...
Post by Burroughs Guy
Post by Lizz Holmans
Then my cat Morse must be a dog, because he plays fetch with various
items (raw green beans are his favorite) but he'll chase just about
any old kind of tat small enough to carry easily in his mouth. And he
usually initiates the game.
Princess Blankitty Blanc played fetch in her youth. She mainly
fetched little foam golf balls, but she occasionally fetched other
toys, and one day we played fetch with a little piece of wood.
You still listening, Emma? I think we just proved that cats are more
canine than feline, and therefore lions are too.
"Go not to Usenet for answers, for they will say both yes and
no and 'try another newsgroup'."
-- attributed to Chris Croughton
Hmmm... not sure we've tried that last option yet.
Talk.origins might be a good one.

JoAnne "at least one order of magnitude different, though" Schmitz
--
The new Urban Legends website is <http://www.tafkac.org>
That's TAFKAC.ORG
Do not accept lame imitations at previously okay URLs
Daniel W. Johnson
2004-05-08 03:44:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Burroughs Guy
If I pretended to throw,
but nothing came out of my hand, she stood and stared at my hand.
So, feline by Trystero4's criterion.
--
Daniel W. Johnson
***@iquest.net
http://members.iquest.net/~panoptes/
039 53 36 N / 086 11 55 W
Karen J. Cravens
2004-05-06 12:42:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Francis
What's all this fake stuff, anyway? Just go ahead and throw the ball.
The canine can chase it, if it feels like it. But the feline won't
bother with any such demeaning (not to mention energy-squandering) act.
Um. Pixel is deceased, and thus no longer available for demonstrations,
but Havoc is alive and, if slightly arthritic these days, still willing to
make the occasional attempt. Just don't make any eye contact with him on
the return trip, or he'll meow and drop the ball and refuse to be
convinced to go get it again.

And Buddha, at the in-laws, is still young enough to retrieve a ball more
persistently than a Labrador Retriever, *and* demonstrate the biting-off-
hands if you even think about stopping.
--
Karen J. Cravens
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-05-07 01:44:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Francis
Post by David DeLaney
... The way to settle the "are lions/cheetahs
etc more canine than feline " argument is to get a tennis
ball, show it to the animal, then PRETEND to throw it...if
the lion/cheetah is faked out then it is more canine. If
it stares at you with a look that could best be described
as contempt, then it is more feline.
...And if it bites off the hand with the tennis ball still
in it?
That was my immediate reaction, too. Any self-respecting
feline would definitely consider that as a viable option.
What's all this fake stuff, anyway? Just go ahead and throw
the ball. The canine can chase it, if it feels like it. But
the feline won't bother with any such demeaning (not to
mention energy-squandering) act.
Feh. I had a very smug, ill-tempered and aloof kitty that not
only chased and fetched objects, she would initiate the game.
And bite you if you didn't respond to her dropping the
toy/candy/foil thing at your feet.
--
TeaLady / mari conroy

"The adjectivisation of our nounal units will be greeted with
disconcertion by elders" Simon on the status of English as she
is spake.

Forget the clue by 4. I want an iron :
http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/clueiron/
ptomblin+ (Paul Tomblin)
2004-05-07 14:04:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
Feh. I had a very smug, ill-tempered and aloof kitty that not
only chased and fetched objects, she would initiate the game.
And bite you if you didn't respond to her dropping the
toy/candy/foil thing at your feet.
My cat used to drop her catnip mouse at my feet for me to throw. If I
didn't throw it, she'd drop it *on* my feet. Then she'd jump up on the
couch and drop it in my lap. If that didn't work, she'd go up on the back
of the couch and drop it over my shoulder into my lap. I don't think she
escalated beyond that.
--
Paul Tomblin <***@xcski.com> http://xcski.com/blogs/pt/
"You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else." -
- Delenn, Babylon 5
John Francis
2004-05-07 17:14:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by ptomblin+ (Paul Tomblin)
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
Feh. I had a very smug, ill-tempered and aloof kitty that not
only chased and fetched objects, she would initiate the game.
And bite you if you didn't respond to her dropping the
toy/candy/foil thing at your feet.
My cat used to drop her catnip mouse at my feet for me to throw. If I
didn't throw it, she'd drop it *on* my feet. Then she'd jump up on the
couch and drop it in my lap. If that didn't work, she'd go up on the back
of the couch and drop it over my shoulder into my lap. I don't think she
escalated beyond that.
But in all these examples the chase game was initiated by the cat.
Getting humans to do what you want is one thing. Doing something
suggested by the human is a different matter entirely.
--
Hello. My name is Darth Vader. I am your Father. Prepare to die.
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-05-08 16:06:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Francis
In a previous article, "TeaLady (Mari C.)"
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
Feh. I had a very smug, ill-tempered and aloof kitty that
not only chased and fetched objects, she would initiate the
game. And bite you if you didn't respond to her dropping
the toy/candy/foil thing at your feet.
My cat used to drop her catnip mouse at my feet for me to
throw. If I didn't throw it, she'd drop it *on* my feet.
Then she'd jump up on the couch and drop it in my lap. If
that didn't work, she'd go up on the back of the couch and
drop it over my shoulder into my lap. I don't think she
escalated beyond that.
But in all these examples the chase game was initiated by
the cat. Getting humans to do what you want is one thing.
Doing something suggested by the human is a different matter
entirely.
A little over more than 75% of the time CeeCee would chase a
crinkle-wrapped candy if I tossed it. The odds that she'd chase
something when I initiated the game would drop as less desirable
toys were chosen.

As i was unemployed and bored for several months while owning
her, I had plenty of time to see what toys she preferred using
the method of what she'd fetch when I tossed it. Of course, if
she chose to play, anything that she could carry was considered
desirable. Including, once, a balled up sock, something that
she usually reserved for lick and kick sessions.
--
Tea"I refused to play fetch with live bugs"Lady / mari conroy

"The adjectivisation of our nounal units will be greeted with
disconcertion by elders" Simon on the status of English as she
is spake.

Forget the clue by 4. I want an iron :
http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/clueiron/
Karen J. Cravens
2004-05-08 20:37:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Francis
But in all these examples the chase game was initiated by the cat.
Getting humans to do what you want is one thing. Doing something
suggested by the human is a different matter entirely.
No, in all our cases the games were started by the humans. (I admit we
didn't actually expect the cats to bring the stuff back, just to chase
it.)
--
Karen J. Cravens
Karen J. Cravens
2004-05-08 00:34:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by ptomblin+ (Paul Tomblin)
My cat used to drop her catnip mouse at my feet for me to throw. If I
didn't throw it, she'd drop it *on* my feet. Then she'd jump up on
the couch and drop it in my lap. If that didn't work, she'd go up on
the back of the couch and drop it over my shoulder into my lap. I
don't think she escalated beyond that.
Pixie would drop it on your feet, and if that didn't work, she'd drop the
foam ball into the water dish, wait a bit, then drop it on your feet
again.
--
Karen J. Cravens
Lee Rudolph
2004-05-06 10:55:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by David DeLaney
...And if it bites off the hand with the tennis ball still in it?
Dave "just curious/testing" DeLaney
Why, David. I never suspected that you were bite-curious.

Donovan "I am testing, yellow" Bananananasson
George
2004-05-07 06:21:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Emma
A guy I know swears blind that a Norwegian scientist [he can't remember the
name] studied lions for years, and decided that lions are more closely
related to canines that other wild cats. I pointed out that the ability to
successfully mate with tigers [to produce tigons & ligers] means that they
are extremely closely related [genetically] with felines, and not at all
with canines [liolf, anyone?] So - has anyone heard of this?
Unfortunately, this guy seems to accept some ULs without question, and isn't
really someone you can argue with. I just want the info for me. I did try
googling for it, but came up nowegian lion-dogs, instead.
Emma
I saw a Chiuahua screw a cat. No offspring that I know of.
R H Draney
2004-05-07 06:51:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by George
I saw a Chiuahua screw a cat. No offspring that I know of.
First person what yells GIF!!! gets smacked....r
Robert Alston
2004-05-07 07:41:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by R H Draney
Post by George
I saw a Chiuahua screw a cat. No offspring that I know of.
First person what yells GIF!!! gets smacked....r
Ummmm... We may have a problem here. Guido is yelling GIF from over at his
desk.

Robert "Do YOU want to try smacking Guido?" Alston
Janitorial Services
One AFU Plaza
R H Draney
2004-05-07 14:27:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Alston
Post by R H Draney
Post by George
I saw a Chiuahua screw a cat. No offspring that I know of.
First person what yells GIF!!! gets smacked....r
Ummmm... We may have a problem here. Guido is yelling GIF from over at his
desk.
Robert "Do YOU want to try smacking Guido?" Alston
Perhaps we can distract him with small shiny objects....r
Robert Alston
2004-05-09 06:39:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by R H Draney
Post by Robert Alston
Post by R H Draney
Post by George
I saw a Chiuahua screw a cat. No offspring that I know of.
First person what yells GIF!!! gets smacked....r
Ummmm... We may have a problem here. Guido is yelling GIF from over
at his desk.
Robert "Do YOU want to try smacking Guido?" Alston
Perhaps we can distract him with small shiny objects....r
Oh I am sure we can do that. But do you have that many Krugerands? Those
seem to be the best small shiny distracting objects. He also likes large
shiny distracting objects but gold bars get really expensive.

Robert "He just ignores silver coins" Alston
L0nD0t.$t0we11
2004-05-08 17:32:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by R H Draney
Post by George
I saw a Chiuahua screw a cat. No offspring that I know of.
First person what yells GIF!!! gets smacked....r
Well of *course* not, silly. We want an mpg, an avi, or a .ram

Lon "how old-tech" Stowell
--
Me human. You Computer. Me have BFH. You have fragile parts. You behave.
R H Draney
2004-05-09 08:22:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by L0nD0t.$t0we11
Post by R H Draney
Post by George
I saw a Chiuahua screw a cat. No offspring that I know of.
First person what yells GIF!!! gets smacked....r
Well of *course* not, silly. We want an mpg, an avi, or a .ram
Lon "how old-tech" Stowell
Oh, to heck with it...this is as close as I can find:

Loading Image...

....r
Simon Slavin
2004-05-08 21:25:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by George
I saw a Chiuahua screw a cat. No offspring that I know of.
I saw a boy cat screw another boy cat. No offspring there either.
Therefore they're not genetically closely-related.

Simon.
--
Using pre-release version of newsreader.
Please tell me if it does weird things.
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