Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Meerkat survival 'threatened by inbreeding'

The survival chances of meerkats is being threatened by inbreeding, according to a new study.
Researchers spent 20 years studying data from almost 2,000 meerkats living in clans in South Africa's Kalahari Desert.
They found almost half of the animals showed some evidence of inbreeding.
Meerkat pups that are inbred are smaller, lighter and less likely to survive in the wild than their counterparts.
The project was a collaboration between scientists at the universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge and Zurich, as well as the Zoological Society of London.
They recorded births and deaths and the movement of meerkats between colonies in the Kuruman River Reserve.

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