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RE: Hybrids and taxonomy

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Posted by: aspidoscelis at Tue Jun 19 21:30:56 2007  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by aspidoscelis ]  
   

There aren't really any taxonomic implications, though. The simplistic version of species boundaries presented in many intro bio textbooks--that all interspecific hybrids are sterile or inviable (and therefore, if two organisms can produce fertile offspring they are members of the same species)--doesn't really represent how biological taxonomy works. 150ish years ago, Darwin pointed out that species that are reproductively isolated in nature can often be bred in captivity; and thus captive reproduction is not generally a useful test of species boundaries (even if we take a species concept based on reproductive isolation for granted). This point has been made quite a number of times since Darwin, as well, and remains valid.


   

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