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RE: Musings of a Student/ Why I'm a Milkman

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Posted by: captainjack0000 at Thu Jan 10 22:07:27 2013  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by captainjack0000 ]  
   

You CANNOT, however, have members of two subspecies at the SAME locality.

This doesn't make sense to me. It seems like there would be areas where subspecies' ranges overlap, and you might find two different subspecies in one area. Unless there are distinct populations, metapopulations if you will. In that case, I would think separating into species makes sense. Or just recognize they are metapopulations of the same species and the occasional wandered helps keep genetic diversity high in the local pockets of the species.

For example, here in Florida people go wild over the Florida panther. It is considered to be an endangered subspecies of mountain lion/cougar. To me, it just is a southern population of the couger, not much differently than you might find in Appalachia. I feel like, from a practical stand point, maybe time and resources should be devoted to saving endangered species, not endangered subspecies. Maybe I'm just a lumper and not a splitter.

If the geographically different populations are genetically different, then I wonder why the powers that be haven't divided them accordingly. I find the sociology of scientists to be interesting. Like the whole Pluto as a planet issue.

When I was writing the question about this species/subspecies, I was thinking about how some dog breeders have applied so much artifical evolutionary pressure (for lack of a better term) onto certain dog breeds that pure stocks are have inbreeding issues. I didn't want the same to happen to the herp community. Your common dog is Canis lupus familiaris, a subspecies of Canis lupus (which includes other things like wolves). I'd hate to see a certain L.t.(x) valued over some other L.t. and in hundreds (or thousands) of years find that only pure bred L.t.(x) have major deformities or something else wrong with them.If interbreeding is possible, then increasing genetic richness seems more important than maintaining pure stock. Further study would have to be done to see if certain subspecies do cross in the wild. Like for example the "Gulf Hammock Rat Snake" which is a cross between two subspecies of rat snake, the yellow and the gray.

I guess I just don't know enough about milk snakes to give an answer.


   

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