Health

Don't hate the hybrid!

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanNov 21, 2011 9:44 AM

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There is a specter haunting the intersection of conservation biology and public policy, the specter of the biological species concept. Coyote-Wolf Hybrids Have Spread Across U.S. East:

Scientists already knew that some coyotes, which have been gradually expanding their range eastward, mated with wolves in the Great Lakes (map) region. The pairings created viable hybrid offspring—identified by their DNA and skulls—that have been found in mid-Atlantic states such as New York and Pennsylvania. Now, new DNA analysis of coyote poop shows for the first time that some coyotes in the state of Virginia are also part wolf. Scientists think these animals are coyote-wolf hybrids that traveled south from New England along the Appalachian Mountains.

Most of the wolf ancestry in the lower 48 states might be in "coyotes!"

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