Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why do dalmations have spots?

This was from Son's Highlight's magazine, but it's an interesting question to me because it involves evolution, though not exactly as Darwin imagined it nor exactly as it works over eons to produce humans from mice. As you read this, remember that I am not a biologist.

Basically, because people like the genetic mutation that make some dalmations spotted, people breed spotted dalmations more than dalmations with splotches. Aside: Of course, such inbreeding eventually leads to excessive genetic problems. In the case of dalmations, "purebreds" are very likely to experience the dog equivalent of kidney stones.

So, what does this have to do with evolution. This is basically microevolution.

In this case, we have a particular genetic mutation (spots vs. splotchs) and a particular desire for spots by would-be purchasers, the "environmental stress" is effected by the breeders choosing to breed only those dogs with desirable spot patterns. Over time, in the population of dalmations that are bred in this way, there will be fewer and fewer dalmations born with splotchs rather than spots.

This is a very simplified example of evolution, with a million problems. Get over it. Evolution is fact.

I've been somewhat combative in my recent posts, including this one. I should (and do) apologize to you few loyal readers.

1 comment:

debbie said...

So...are there any splotchy Dalmations left?  Don't think I have ever seen one although they might be kinda cute.  Is one on the potential pet list for Kerry or Garion.  Almost stopped at a drive by turtle I understand that you household is now pet..less. Thought I had better check in with the parents first.