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Author Topic: Are mules a work in progress?  (Read 2123 times)

Offline Geezer

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Are mules a work in progress?
« on: 02/10/2010 22:52:24 »
Is the fact that donkeys and horses can interbreed to produce sterile mules evidence that evolution is a "work in progress"? Would we expect that eventually they will evolve to the point where they can no longer interbreed?


 

Offline Don_1

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Are mules a work in progress?
« Reply #1 on: 03/10/2010 12:10:37 »
So you are suggesting that the Horse and Donkey evolved from a common ancestor and can therefore interbreed until the two species move sufficiently apart that interbreeding will no longer be possible.

Certainly seems plausible.
 

Offline Geezer

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Are mules a work in progress?
« Reply #2 on: 03/10/2010 19:19:44 »
Right! That's the general idea. I think there may be other examples of sterile progeny, but I can't think of any  :D
 

Offline RD

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Are mules a work in progress?
« Reply #3 on: 03/10/2010 22:33:21 »
I think there may be other examples of sterile progeny ...

male zebra + female donkey = zonkey

[whereas a donkey - 1 leg = wonky   :) ]
« Last Edit: 03/10/2010 22:40:34 by RD »
 

Offline Don_1

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Are mules a work in progress?
« Reply #4 on: 04/10/2010 09:44:40 »
Since all species have a common ancestor, it would seem logical that at the point of a split in the one species into two, there would be no problem with the two new and very slightly different branches of that common ancestor being capable of interbreeding. The resulting progeny would be more akin to the common ancestor than to the either of the two new species. If the progenies were not sterile, it would be possible that the result of continued interbreeding and the breeding of the cross bred progenies would be a return to the common ancestor.

Perhaps this sterile state of the interbred progenies is evolution's means of ensuring advance rather than return to the original.
 

Offline Geezer

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Are mules a work in progress?
« Reply #5 on: 04/10/2010 17:02:39 »
Perhaps this sterile state of the interbred progenies is evolution's means of ensuring advance rather than return to the original.

That's what I'm wondering Don. Or is there something completely different going on here.

If it is a consequence of "evolution in progress", I've never heard it before. (Of course, that does not mean too much  :D)
 

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Are mules a work in progress?
« Reply #5 on: 04/10/2010 17:02:39 »

 

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