Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Gorillas are starting to develop webbed feet


Posted on Sunday, 30 December, 2018 | Comment icon 7 comments

Some gorilla populations are in danger of being wiped out. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.6 Kabir
An ever-shrinking gene pool due to population decline has been producing some unexpected mutations.
The critically endangered eastern lowland (or Grauer's) gorilla in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has experienced such a heavy decline in numbers over the years that inbreeding has become a very real concern, resulting in genetic problems ranging from fertility issues to webbed feet.

In a recent study, researchers compared the DNA of wild Grauer's gorillas with that of museum specimens and discovered a sharp and worrying decline in genetic diversity over the last few years.

"This recent increase in harmful mutations really emphasizes the need to reverse the ongoing population decline in Grauer's gorillas," said study co-author Professor Love Dalen.

Interestingly, a similar study of the closely related mountain gorilla found no such issue - possibly due to the fact that mountain gorilla populations have been relatively low for a long time whereas Grauer's gorillas have suffered declining numbers only recently.

Conservation efforts have also seen a slight increase in mountain gorilla populations.

It is believed that this stability has helped them to gradually weed out any harmful mutations.

"Our study highlights that historical museum specimens constitute a unique resource for monitoring recent changes in the genetic status of endangered species," said Professor Katerina Guschanski.

Source: Independent | Comments (7)

Tags: Gorillas

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by seanjo on 30 December, 2018, 15:33
Hold on, they don't have Gorillas in Norfolk!
Comment icon #2 Posted by bigjim36 on 30 December, 2018, 16:45
They do have webbed feet there though 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Jenn8779 on 30 December, 2018, 18:01
Very sad about this... I love gorillas. To me they are one of the most precious species we still have 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 30 December, 2018, 21:55
There are less than 4000 eastern lowland gorillas left. Unfortunately, due to their location, they probably wont be around for too much longer unless poaching and civil wars suddenly cease in the region. And now with worrying levels of inbreeding leading to fertility problems... 
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 30 December, 2018, 22:18
Are webbed  feet a mutation or de-evolution?  If evolution, maybe the Gorillas are getting ready for Waterworld when all the ice caps melt.  Nature does take care of its own.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 30 December, 2018, 23:59
In this case it is a result of a lack of genetic diversity in the remaining population of eastern lowland gorillas.
Comment icon #7 Posted by hehuntsbeaver on 31 December, 2018, 3:00
First they're living in mountains, now they have sister wives? Soon they'll be brewing some fine corn liquor.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Carbon monoxide detectors could help find ET
3-20-2019
Scientists have identified a potential new way to detect the presence of extraterrestrial life on distant worlds.
Pilot spots mystery object using night vision
3-19-2019
An air ambulance pilot wearing night vision goggles recently spotted an unknown object west of Las Vegas.
Why do Egyptian statues have missing noses ?
3-19-2019
Tomb robbers may have deliberately defaced statues and artwork to prevent spirits from seeking revenge.
The human body may have a magnetic sense
3-18-2019
Scientists now believe that humans, like birds, may be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Squaring a doughnut
Posted 3-12-2019 | 0 comments
Michael returns with another mind-bending problem - this time concerning squares.
 
Shells of cosmic time
Posted 3-3-2019 | 0 comments
A look at how observations of distant objects enable us to see back in time.
 
Thailand's snake village
Posted 2-26-2019 | 2 comments
Steve Backshall visits a village where the inhabitants live alongside dangerous snakes.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
 
Winter solstice hooded figures
3-6-2019 | Decatur, IL
 
My skinless demon
2-8-2019 | Michigan
 
Johannesburg Men in Black
1-2-2019 | Johannesburg South Africa
 
Giant flash of light
1-2-2019 | Pomona, California
 
Terrifying unexplained screams
1-2-2019 | Dorion, Ontario, Canada
 
My name is whispered
11-9-2018 | Wish not to disclose
 
Strange numbers on arm
11-9-2018 | Charlotte, NC
 
Two experiences
10-31-2018 | Pryor, OK
 
Various experiences
10-31-2018 | Californiia
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ