Jump to content
FossilDudeCO

New species or genetic mutation?

Recommended Posts

WhodamanHD
8 minutes ago, FossilDudeCO said:

Well said Tony.

Also, a Horse and a Donkey can breed, yet they make a mule!!

 

I also remember a news story out of Japan a little while back in which a Monkey was caught err...consummating with a small deer like animal.

Most mules are sterile. Hybrids are rarely fertile, and if they are usually a few generations down bad things start happening. Nature doesn't like when it gets messed with to much...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesuslover340

@snolly50 has a good point...dogs are unnaturally selected by human selection, but I used dog breeds simply for their exaggerated differences -you still see similar parallels in nature across different groups. I would like to point out, though, that dogs do look quite structurally different. Least, they would to any future paleontologist. Have you seen a pug skull compared to a labrador's? I'd have thought they came from different planets!

The definition of a species is interesting, especially concerning hybrids. Wolves and dogs can mate and still produce viable offspring, yet mutts of the dog species can have difficulty if the genetics of more than two breeds are present in the individuals.

 

I was taught that what determined a species is if two individuals of the same came together produced viable offspring. If they didn't consistently, they were different species.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
snolly50
4 hours ago, FossilDudeCO said:

Also, a Horse and a Donkey can breed, yet they make a mule!!

You will discover that the male offspring with this type of genetic endowment are sterile (mule, liger). So in a genetic sense even though offspring were produced, it is not a line fated for genetic success. Again, this is another example of Human involvement in animal's business.

 

Ligers don't exist in the natural world, because lions and tigers do not live in the same locale (isolation). Even if they did, they differ behaviorally. The chance of them "getting together" is absolutely remote without Humankind's meddling.

 

@Jesuslover340 As for Pugs and Labs extreme divergence in appearance, well some Human actually thought the way a Pug looks was a good idea and worked hard to achieve that look. It is far removed from the process in the natural world. There some canid ancestor would have needed to find an adaptive advantage to a severe case of "lack o' snoot" and that snorfully advantage would be passed on via natural selection.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesuslover340

My point is that there is often a very fair amount of variation within individuals of a species that, if fossilized, would likely be considered different species by the method of paleontologists today (i.e., small differences are often attributed to being a completely new species rather than being considered a unique individual). Whether by nature or man, my point in this regard remains the same. There's plenty of examples in nature as well that would apply all the same-crocodiles and Alligators, for example, can have variation in the amount of unguals they have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
snolly50
42 minutes ago, Jesuslover340 said:

My point is that there is often a very fair amount of variation within individuals of a species that, if fossilized, would likely be considered different species by the method of paleontologists today (i.e., small differences are often attributed to being a completely new species rather than being considered a unique individual). Whether by nature or man, my point in this regard remains the same. There's plenty of examples in nature as well that would apply all the same-crocodiles and Alligators, for example, can have variation in the amount of unguals they have.

Please understand, I certainly agree with you as to the confusion that would certainly be generated; if present day dog remains were examined as fossils by future paleontologists. 

 

However, The simple fact is; dogdom is a product of Humankind. While getting there followed natural laws, the laws were not followed, naturally. There is no analog in Nature.

 

There is no evolutionary advantage that would have pushed the New World turkey to become a 35 pound bird that cannot fly. I suppose in the broader sense it is perhaps an evolutionary advantage to Humans to have Thanksgiving and there are probably more turkeys in the world than at any other time in history. So indeed, in the sense of making more turkeys they are evolutionary "winners." I only hope the same kind of "winning" doesn't apply to humankind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesuslover340
Just now, snolly50 said:

Please understand, I certainly agree with you as to the confusion that would certainly be generated; if present day dog remains were examined as fossils by future paleontologists. 

 

However, The simple fact is; dogdom is a product of Humankind. While getting there followed natural laws, the laws were not followed, naturally. There is no analog in Nature.

Yes, but that's not my point. I fully understand dog breeds are a result of human selection and therefore that there is no equivalent in nature. My point is that there are many cases I believe wherein individual variations within a species are assumed to be a different species by modern paleontology and would be in the future if this continues. I was simply giving examples where you can see individual variations within a species to spur contemplation as to how many prehistoric species may actually just be individuals with variants of one species by giving modern day examples of species variation. Whether selected by man or not does not pertain to my point, as the point is about variations within a species rather than whether or not such variations are human or nature selected. They are still variations within a species and are often the determining factor-wrongly-for assuming a new species, both in the past and likely in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
snolly50

@Jesuslover340 Yes, I do concede there are (not surprisingly) variations between individuals. I only had 2 wisdom teeth instead of the more common allotment of 4. I always cited this as evidence I was more highly evolved than most folk. (The science may be a little shaky there).

 

Now as to claiming a new species instead of recognizing a natural variant; well mistakes do happen (he says charitably). However, behaviorally what would you (or anyone) choose (or at least hope for), if you scratched an odd lookin' critter out of the ground. "Oh, it's a common slugasaurus with an extra digit" or "It's a brand new discovery! It shall bear my name and my tenure is assured!" Now, I'm not maligning a profession as dishonest. I'm just saying the urge for aggrandisement is strong in us dog-meddling Humans.  

 

As a final observation, I do think that paleontology deserves to be cut a little slack. In many, many cases the available data/evidence is very limited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jesuslover340
33 minutes ago, snolly50 said:

@Jesuslover340 Yes, I do concede there are (not surprisingly) variations between individuals. I only had 2 wisdom teeth instead of the more common allotment of 4. I always cited this as evidence I was more highly evolved than most folk. (The science may be a little shaky there).

 

Now as to claiming a new species instead of recognizing a natural variant; well mistakes do happen (he says charitably). However, behaviorally what would you (or anyone) choose (or at least hope for), if you scratched an odd lookin' critter out of the ground. "Oh, it's a common slugasaurus with an extra digit" or "It's a brand new discovery! It shall bear my name and my tenure is assured!" Now, I'm not maligning a profession as dishonest. I'm just saying the urge for aggrandisement is strong in us dog-meddling Humans.  

 

As a final observation, I do think that paleontology deserves to be cut a little slack. In many, many cases the available data/evidence is very limited.

My brother was genetically missing two teeth. They had to pull in the front teeth on the sides to make up for their absence, shape his eye teeth, then shape a couple other teeth to replace the eye teeth that were shaped to replace the missing teeth O.o

 

And I fully agree on that point, but the issue is, science is a way of thinking; a search for the truth. It's SUPPOSED to put aside bias and personal agendas. Paleontology, despite its shortcomings you mentioned above, should be no exception. I'm sure there will always be trouble in determining between a specimen to be a unique individual or representative of a new species, but actually admitting such difficulties rather than assuming a small variation to be a new species is more in line with searching for the truth than serving one's own grandeur. Until that time that we can genetically test each specimen :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mediospirifer

I'd compare the variant number of spines on these fish to variant numbers of toes or length of tail in the domestic cat.

 

Also, for a modern example of "is it a different species or not" that wasn't the product of artificial selection, look at the Italian wall lizard population of the island of Pod Mrcaru. Here's a Wiki link: LINK.

 

I suspect that if these lizards and their parent population (on Pod Kopiste) had been found as fossils, they'd be taken for two different species without hesitation. The daughter population lizards are larger, with larger heads and more powerful jaws, and shorter legs proportional to the body size.They're more herbivorous than the parent population.

 

Some other traits that don't fossilize have also changed. The parent population are more territorial, faster in motion, and quicker to respond to threat. The daughter population have developed cecal valves (a rarity among lizards), and frequently have nematodes living in their guts.

 

So, are they different species or not? The daughter population had only been isolated from the parent population for 36 years before people came back to Pod Mrcaru to see what had become of the lizards they introduced in 1971. Whether they've speciated or not, they're certainly well on the way!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ash

Hmm, is this 11 spines?

 

 

Wyoming-Eocene-Cockerellites-Liops-Fish-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RJB

Hey @Ash, I see 12 spines on that fish.

 

RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FossilDudeCO

@Ash I am on my phone, so it's not the best, but I count 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LordTrilobite

There's definitely 12 spines on that second fish. The first and second spine are very close to each other and at a glance they look like one spine. I would also not that it looks like some of the spines start at the same spot but then diverge outward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ashcraft

Species is a man-made concept, organisms don't care.  Coyotes and jackals are considered different species, but they can interbreed and produce viable offspring.  Some salamanders form rasenkriss (sp?).  The closer these groups are to each other, the more likely they can interbreed, further away, no go.  Differences in the mating rituals, but their egg and sperm can still produce viable and reproducing offspring.  Dogs are considered the same species, but it is unlikely that some of the breeds could interbreed, as stated.  Neanderthals a seperate species?  (depending on who you talk to)  Yet we (me) have Neanderthal DNA within us. 

 

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first start to interbreed.

Brent Ashcraft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kane
23 minutes ago, ashcraft said:

Species is a man-made concept, organisms don't care.  Coyotes and jackals are considered different species, but they can interbreed and produce viable offspring.  Some salamanders form rasenkriss (sp?).  The closer these groups are to each other, the more likely they can interbreed, further away, no go.  Differences in the mating rituals, but their egg and sperm can still produce viable and reproducing offspring.  Dogs are considered the same species, but it is unlikely that some of the breeds could interbreed, as stated.  Neanderthals a seperate species?  (depending on who you talk to)  Yet we (me) have Neanderthal DNA within us. 

 

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first start to interbreed.

Brent Ashcraft

To be tongue-in-cheek picky (I'm grading essays at the moment :P ), "man-made" is gendered writing, but your point is taken. Divisions in taxonomy are human constructs, just as are units of time, which is a continuum (as are organisms!). Yet, at the same time, these divisions of species provides us with some practical value for gaining some degree of consensus in terms of what we are referring to. The error is in assuming these divisions we have made as being useful for us are somehow objectively absolute. 

 

Your Neanderthal example is an excellent one,. by the way! :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ashcraft
1 hour ago, Kane said:

To be tongue-in-cheek picky (I'm grading essays at the moment :P ), "man-made" is gendered writing, but your point is taken. Divisions in taxonomy are human constructs, just as are units of time, which is a continuum (as are organisms!). Yet, at the same time, these divisions of species provides us with some practical value for gaining some degree of consensus in terms of what we are referring to. The error is in assuming these divisions we have made as being useful for us are somehow objectively absolute. 

 

Your Neanderthal example is an excellent one,. by the way! :) 

 

Gendered writing is also a human construct, less interesting then species.  

 

Recently hexed by our English department for such neanderthalistic views, which is totally genetic, and hence unalterable and eyeing a bunch of sophomore renderings on fossil felidae fragments, and putting it off until later to grade.

 

Brent Ashcraft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kane
4 minutes ago, ashcraft said:

 

Gendered writing is also a human construct, less interesting then species.  

 

Recently hexed by our English department for such neanderthalistic views, which is totally genetic, and hence unalterable and eyeing a bunch of sophomore renderings on fossil felidae fragments, and putting it off until later to grade.

 

Brent Ashcraft

"less interesting THAN (comparative) species" :P Then is used for temporal instances such as "If x happens, THEN y happens." 

 

Sorry... I cannot help myself. It's one of the jobs I do for a living! :D 

 

I don't quite understand what was "hexed" by your English department. Say more even at the risk of creating a little deviating branch from the current discussion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ashcraft
4 hours ago, Kane said:

"less interesting THAN (comparative) species" :P Then is used for temporal instances such as "If x happens, THEN y happens." 

 

Sorry... I cannot help myself. It's one of the jobs I do for a living! :D 

 

I don't quite understand what was "hexed" by your English department. Say more even at the risk of creating a little deviating branch from the current discussion!

I told a member of our English department that it was their fault that my students were doing so poorly, because they could not read or write.  I think they must be a coven, because an obvious spell was cast on me, damaging my chi.  This caused, among other things, me to dump a truck load of osb at the interstate off-ramp, while being given the stink-eye by a local deputy.

 

Bad ju-ju going on,

Brent Ashcraft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kane
15 minutes ago, ashcraft said:

I told a member of our English department that it was their fault that my students were doing so poorly, because they could not read or write.  I think they must be a coven, because an obvious spell was cast on me, damaging my chi.  This caused, among other things, me to dump a truck load of osb at the interstate off-ramp, while being given the stink-eye by a local deputy.

 

Bad ju-ju going on,

Brent Ashcraft

I have been facing this for a number of years. It seems to be getting worse as financial considerations (bums in seats) trump academic integrity. It is a sad day when I am ecstatic if a third year student knows how to use an apostrophe, or knowing that not all books are "novels." Certainly not an issue in my own undergraduate years (finished eons ago in... 2002). 

 

Some good kung fu might help your personal chi ;) (Or at least give an outlet for the frustration!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ashcraft
45 minutes ago, Kane said:

I have been facing this for a number of years. It seems to be getting worse as financial considerations (bums in seats) trump academic integrity. It is a sad day when I am ecstatic if a third year student knows how to use an apostrophe, or knowing that not all books are "novels." Certainly not an issue in my own undergraduate years (finished eons ago in... 2002). 

 

Some good kung fu might help your personal chi ;) (Or at least give an outlet for the frustration!).

2002?  I had been out for 20 years at that point!  Used to walk to school and home up hills both ways!

 

Old coot I am,

Brent Ashcraft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kane
2 minutes ago, ashcraft said:

2002?  I had been out for 20 years at that point!  Used to walk to school and home up hills both ways!

 

Old coot I am,

Brent Ashcraft

In sleet, no less! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
doushantuo

"Hopeful monster"(mutation),teratology?B).

 

 

henolen5756hb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jdp
On 9/30/2017 at 2:55 PM, FossilDudeCO said:

I have been blessed this summer to have some amazing finds up in Green River. A couple of them come in the form of strange pathologies on a common fish.

 

The Priscacara (or Cockerellites as it is now known) Is quite a common fish to find in multiple layers of the Green River Formation.

The Cockerellites is closely related to modern perch, and is a highly prized fish due to it's unique appearance!

 

I know there was a paper recently written (I believe in 2010) by John Whitlock, but I cannot seem to find it on any open access sites.

 

Part of his debate for a new genus is fueled by the fact that serrata and liops have differing numbers of dorsal and anal spines. I present to you today 2 of my more uncommon finds from Green River showing variations of these animals. 99%+ of the Cockerellites found have just 10 dorsal spines, I present today my 2 unique finds from this past dig season!

 

Fish number 1 was discovered on July 29, 2017

Fish number 2 was discovered on September 23, 2017

 

The first picture shows a Cockerellites liops with 11 dorsal spines.

DSCN5102.thumb.JPG.af495aa22302e72d9cc9b11d9704ca1a.JPG

 

this second photos shows an even more perplexing mutation. This Cockerellites liops has 12 dorsal spines!!

DSCN5104.thumb.JPG.600e2ff4cf859eea29431bca1d89d689.JPG

 

While multiple fish have been found with 11 dorsal spines, I am unsure if anyone has ever found a fish with 12 dorsal spines. This is a very unique occurrence and should this fish be a new variant it will be donated to Fossil Butte National Monument! Even though he is missing most of his anal fins, this fish could still be a very important specimen to show mutations.

 

So, do you think these 2 fish could represent new species within the Genus?

Or are they simply mutations?

 

 

 

 

Neat fossils!

 

The individual fin spines of the first fish are really regularly-shaped and relatively well-formed. The ones in the second fish seem a little twisted and of irregular shape and size. This tells me that something went wrong with the development of the fin in the second fish, specifically with spines 7-9 of that dorsal fin.

 

The individual fin spines elsewhere seem more or less normal, though.

 

If it was a developmental disorder, you'd probably (though not certainly) expect to see other defects elsewhere in the body. However, if it was a new species, you wouldn't expect to see this sort of disorganized structure in the dorsal fin.

 

What I think happened here is that the bottom fish, when it was small, likely damaged the developing dorsal fin and the fin partially regenerated, resulting in a few smaller irregularly formed and irregularly spaced regenerative spines. I don't have an image off-hand of regenerated fins in modern fish but I can hunt them down if you want reference images.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ynot
5 minutes ago, jdp said:

f regenerated fins in modern fish but I can hunt them down if you want reference images.

Oh yes, definitely want to see that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jdp

Here's a picture of regeneration in the tail of a zebrafish from Pfefferli & Jazwinska (2015) showing stages of fin regeneration. You can see that the fin ray is somewhat more disorganized after the amputation line, even though there's still a complete fin once it heals.

Pfefferli&Jazwinska2015_regen.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×