Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Matter of Breeding (Feral cats threaten survival of wild cats)

It seems ironic the domestic cat that has been genetically weakened for survival in the wild will displace their ancestral stock.
A Matter of Breeding (Feral cats threaten survival of wild cats)
One of the most important factors leading to a strong species population is that of genetic diversity - some small populations within the cat family however are not only under attack from the pressures of hunting and habitat loss, but also from inbreeding and hybridization.

Some 4000 years ago the first 'domestic' cats began to evolve in and around Ancient Egypt. It is now commonly believed that the African Wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) and possibly, in part, the Jungle Cat , (Felis chaus), formed the basis of today's domestic cat (felis catus) from which it evolved over an extended period of several thousand years. As the domestic cat developed it underwent a number of morphological adaptations which today marks the ancestral african wildcat and the modern domestic as two distinct species. A less strictly carnivorous diet, has led to a modified digestive system - through generally being cared for and not having to survive by its own wits, its behaviour has become less aggressive and body and brain size have been reduced. It is even more ironic then, that today the survival of the african wildcat along with its Asian and European counterparts is threatened by its distant relative, Felis catus - the domestic cat.
Birding Top 500 Counter

No comments: