Dog-Breeding Approach to Getting New Species

 Lawrence L. Lapin

Twitter: @LarryLLapin

There is probably no advanced species on Earth more varied than the domestic dog. Yet dogs range in size from teacup Chiauuas to tall Great Danes. They vary in behavior from Setters to Shepherds or from Pinschers to Malamutes. All are the same species and can interbreed.

Once thought to be descended from wolves, it is now believed that dogs and wolves are cousins and have a common ancestor. Research shows that modern dogs have co-evolved with people. And now people have modified dogs to do work and be cute.

But humans and dogs have not been cooperating long enough for separate canine species to emerge. (A key defining characteristic of a species is that members do not naturally interbreed with another species of similar kind. If such events occur, the hybrid offspring will usually be infertile, like mules obtained from horse and donkey.) Dogs have breeds instead. Left to their own devices, they will mix. But the offspring will always be a dog.

Dog breeding is not done with genetic tinkering on DNA. It is achieved simply by selective mating that favor a specific characteristic. Animals inferior for a particular trait, such as herding skill, are not allowed to comingle, while those having the desired property are given extra opportunities to breed. It is a comparatively passive way to achieve change.

A more vigorous way to get a particular characteristic would be to load the genetic dice by creating mutations. Radiation is one tool for doing that. The new generation would be an uncontrolled experiment, and drastic changes might result. Many resulting animals must be euthanized for humane reasons.

A more refined approach would be to change a handful of genes by splicing specific changes onto the DNA molecule itself. This requires lots of knowledge and advanced technology.

All three approaches are used in Adam’s Tiger, which incorporates the creation of new species. Beginning with Siberian Tigers, a Sabre-Toothed Cat will be created. The final result will not be an authentic pre-historic animal, but rather a gross approximation that fills the niche of the extinct target.

Adam's Tiger 0616 (Small)

Book III of Adam’s Chronicles moves 500 years into the future. Planet Earth is still recovering from a disastrous meteor impact. The centuries-long effort to bring back animals and plants—and mankind itself—is nearing its conclusion.

Humans make a small footprint in this renewed world, though ecological disaster is expected from explosive population growth. Changes are in the works, troubles are brewing, and Adam Boatwright worries about the future.

The long-lived geneticist vows to discourage mankind from again ruining the planet. He also takes on a new goal: to make life more robust while improving the platform for future evolution. In doing so, he would bring back animals driven to extinction by early humans, starting with woolly mammoths.

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The Adam’s Chronicles Series.

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Adam’s story is always brought up to date in fresh ways, so that books in this series may be read in any order.

The following book is the series prequel and may be read independently.


All of the above are available at Amazon as Kindle E-Books.

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