Hybrid sharks in the south Pacific

Discuss

13 Responses to “Hybrid sharks in the south Pacific”

  1. Chuck says:

    But we can still attach frickin’ laser beams to their frickin’ heads, right?

  2. Ramone says:

    It’s true, a shark will nail anything that swims. And then eat it.

  3. Aeron says:

    Started to lose interest.

    “interspecies nookie”

    Kept reading. Oh Boing Boing, you please me so.

  4. RedShirt77 says:

    Wouldn’t the term “subspecies” mean they are in the same species and that their nookie, isn’t interspecies?

    This is more like a Lab and a poodle producing labradoodles.

    • Jonathan Micancin says:

      This intertaxon tapping phenomenon is looking more common as more biologists put their filthy brains to work finding examples.

      The old-school definition of subspecies: morphotypes/ecotypes of a species that do not overlap with each other. Within the range of the blacktip species, the habitat overlap (an ecotone) is associated with overlap in the phenotypes of the subspecies (can geographically separate subspecies “hybridize”)?
      “Lab and poodle” is closer to the truth, but not perfect.  Wolves, domestic dogs, and coyotes interbreed.  The dog is Canis lupus familiarus, a subspecies of the wolf.  But the dog and wolf overlap in their ranges, so the subspecies definition doesn’t work. 

      Species concepts are imperfect…I mean subspecies concepts are imperfect…I mean the whole system of taxonomy and nomenclature is imperfect.  

  5. pablohoney says:

    My understanding is that hybrids are almost always sterile, so you can’t end up with gene-pool pollution. Chromosomal mismatch makes it impossible for the hybrids to produce viable offspring. 

    • AnthonyC says:

      Usually but not always.

      My favorite examples of where the term “species” becomes hard to define are ring species: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species

      Also, the entire bacterial world, where asexual reproduction means there are no set interbreeding populations, but pretty much any two individuals can exchange plasmids and other snippets of DNA.

    • Beanolini says:

      The European edible frog is a hybrid with an interesting solution to your ‘chromosomal mismatch’- it only passes on the genome of one of its parent species.

      This means it can live alongside one of the parent species (pool frog or marsh frog) as a sort of ‘parasitic’ species, breeding with the parent species to produce more edible frogs.

  6. MrBillWest says:

    Maggie, you need not look any further than your own back yard for a very popular hybrid known as the tiger muskie. It is the product of “nookie” between a true muskie and a northern pike. I have heard they even reside in Lakes Calhoun and Harriet.

  7. Chris Lites says:

    “What makes this study interesting is that researchers actually performed genetic testing on sharks caught in the hybrid zone.”

    [No it doesn't.]

    • Beanolini says:

      [No it doesn't.]

      You’re right, it’s not this that makes it interesting. What makes it interesting is that nobody knew that these two species were hybridising until the genetic testing was done, nobody even knew this was a hybrid zone.

      The summary above really doesn’t make this clear (and the subspecies/species confusion is a bit embarassing).

  8. snakepunk says:

    The correct term for crosses between subspecies is intergrade. 

    Within the reptile-breeding hobby, true hybrids from different species are not only common, but even crosses from different genera from other parts of the world produce fertile offspring.   Although the practice is very controversial amongst breeders, I personally find it fascinating.

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