Thursday, April 03, 2014

Indian lions can help revive extinct variety

Indian lions can help revive extinct variety
The Times of India

Indian lions could play a key role in bring back an extinct variety.DNA tests by an international team of scientists has confirmed that Indian lions have close genetic links with the now extinct Barbary lions of North Africa.This means that re-seeding Indian lions could bring back the extinct species.Less than 400 Asiatic lions survive at present on the Kathiawar Peninsula of India,listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Barbary lions of North Africa,extending from Egypt to Morocco,were also called the Atlas lions and had the most spectacular physical features.Its extensive mane made it look majestic.It also was a lot larger.

Ross Barnett of Copenhagen University,who started the research during his days at Durham University in UK,sequenced the DNA from the skulls of two Barbary lions once held in Tower of London.It helped reveal the origin of the modern lions.The skulls of these lions dated to 14th and 15th centuries.Barnett said he as most surprised by the incredibly close gentic links between the extinct Barbary lion from North Africa and the Asiatic lion from India.This he says could now get conservationists start talking about resurrecting the subspecies and reintroducing lions into North Africa.

Why zebras have stripes To fend off biting flies

The secret behind why zebras have black and white graphic stripes has finally been answered.Scientists have found that biting flies are the evolutionary driver for zebras stripes.A research team mapped the geographic distributions of the seven different species of zebras,horses and asses.They then compared these animals geographic ranges with different variables like woodland areas,ranges of large predators,temperature and the geographic distribution of glossinid (tsetse flies) and tabanid (horseflies) biting flies.They then examined where the striped animals and these variables overlapped.After analysing the five hypotheses,the scientists ruled out all but one: avoiding blood-sucking flies.

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