MadSci Network: Genetics

Re: why do Manx cats have no tails? How did the breeders manage to achieve this

Date: Thu Apr 12 06:46:44 2001
Posted By: Steve Marvell, Independent Researcher
Area of science: Genetics
ID: 986047686.Ge

I did a quick web search by trying "max cat breeding" in Google and came up

I know nothing first hand about the subject, so this is the best I can find
on the specific subject.

In terms of general selective breeding, a mutation happens which causes a
certain characteristic to be pronounced. This may be a white blob, a short
tail, etc. The breeder simply chooses to those with desireable (or useful)
characteristics and they form the next generation. The "no tail"
characteristic is not acheived by breeding, it is promoted by it.

OK, so "short tail" may seem a very dramatic change. Just because it looks
like a large change, doesn't mean there has to be a large change at the
genetic level. Indeed, small changes can have dramatic effects.

Imagine, the way the tail might grow. In one way, it's a little like a
branch on a tree, but with a more definite location. Irrespective of the
length, or other characteristic, if this "hot spot" of cells needed to
begin the tail are not present, the tail will simply not grow. In some
ways, "no tail" is more likely than "small tail".

I'd be happy to expand this in any direction.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Genetics | Genetics archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Genetics.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2001. All rights reserved.