— Hybridization We’ve already seen that cross-breeding blind cavefish from different caves can restore devolved sight in at least some offspring (because the mutations that result in loss of sight differ from group to group, and some hybrids end up with all the necessary equipment). But natural hybridization can produce such changes too. Characteristics that are not evidenced in a given generation may remain as potentials.
Ferns separated 60 million years have interbred. The wolf and dog populations of North America are so heavily hybridized that it is a challenge to make sense of them at all in the face of “all the contradictory claims.” Researchers have also identified at least three potential hybridization events (interspecific mating) in Eurasian mice. One scientist noted that other studies “may have missed evidence of hybridization because the researchers weren’t specifically looking for it.” That means we do not currently know how frequent it is. More strangely, common baker’s yeast turns out to have two different versions of its genome, thought due to a hybridization event 100 million years ago.
As a mechanism, hybridization may have developed a taint due to implausible hypotheses such as the supposed pig-chimp hybrid that, according to one theory, produced humans. But, within the bounds of the plausible, it is a means of producing long-term changes in life forms over time. More.
Hmm. Maybe the experts should just fire all the current life forms and get themselves different ones?
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