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Deploying science’s animal instincts

Studying the DNA of wildlife has provided a deeper understanding of where they came from and where some species are headed.
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Exploration and examination of DNA, as well as the use of a wide array of scientific applications, has allowed biologists to learn more about the wildlife around us. Where did they originate? Why do they have unique looks? Why are they endangered?

Those are just some of the questions that science has helped answer. We have featured a wide array of blogs examining the distinct situations and peculiarities of animal breeds all over the world. If you missed them the first time, here’s a list of what we’ve covered (so far):

DNA testing has helped us understand the heredity and lineage of Arabian horses and the wild horses of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Another majestic animal, the North American bison has been brought back from the brink of extinction. DNA studies, however, indicate that today’s wild herds descend from only a handful of earlier survivors.

In southern California, mountain lions face serious long-term survival challenges. Hemmed in by freeways and development, they’re in need of an injection of genetic diversity.

New DNA-based techniques are offering insight into the recovery of the grizzly bear, as well as possible genetic isolation.

DNA studies are also being used to show the connections between grizzly bears and polar bears … and maybe even yetis!

Have you ever seen a blue-eyed coyote? A genetic blip has resulted in some coyotes in California having blue eyes. The distinct look, however, comes with a drawback.

Threatened with extinction and tucked away in mountain highlights, rare Mexican wolfpacks are being augmented with captive-raised pups to boost genetic viability.

DNA research on biodiversity has the potential to provide huge impacts on our understanding, and hopefully, our ability to preserve and protect the environment around us.

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