Re: Why Large Gap Between Species...?

Laurie Davison (
13 Dec 1996 14:09:32 GMT

The "genetic difficulty" being suffered by the cheetah is homogeneity, a
great number of abnormal sperm in "normal" ejaculate, and, apparently, a
mating strategy requiring more territory in the wild and in captivity
than is currently available. It is still "up in the air", however, as to
whether this is one of those rare species in which "homogeniety works"
for them and the real problem is actually mankind. I do not believe that
the cheetah can be compared with our direct predecessors - though whether
it may be applied to Neandrathal et al is perhaps an interesting
question... If Neandrathal, Australopithicus, or others did, in fact,
suffer from inbreeding and consequent homogeneity, it would have been
that much easier to push them from a critical niche, food source, etc.
Who's to say? I'm not an anthropologist, so forgive me if I'm missing
something basic and obvious in the field:)