Dogs vs Cats: The Diversity Paradox

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Different dogs look incredibly different – but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily more diverse.

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To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
phenotypic diversity – the range of different observable traits in a certain organism – for example, size, color, strength, and friendliness.
genetic diversity – the variation in the genetic information within and among individuals of a population or species
artificial selection (or selective breeding) – a process used by humans to develop new organisms with desirable characteristics

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Kate Yoshida | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Josh Taira | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

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REFERENCES
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Hedrick P. & Andersson L. (2011) Are dogs genetically special? Heredity 106: 712–713. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3186234/

Lampi S. et al. (2020) Variation in breeding practices and geographic isolation drive subpopulation differentiation, contributing to the loss of genetic diversity within dog breed lineages. Canine Medicine and Genetics 7(1): 1-10. https://cgejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40575-020-00085-9

Lyons L. (2009) Recent advances in cat genetics. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, Volume 4. https://ucdavis.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/recent-advances-in-cat-genetics

Menotti-Raymond M. et al. (2008) Patterns of molecular genetic variation among cat breeds. Genomics 91(1): 1-11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0888754307002078?via%3Dihub

Ostrander E. & Wayne R. (2005) The canine genome. Genome Research 15(12):1706-16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16339369/

Parker H. et al. (2004) Genetic structure of the purebred domestic dog. Science 304: 1160–4. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/304/5674/1160

Plassais J. et al. (2019) Whole genome sequencing of canids reveals genomic regions under selection and variants influencing morphology. Nature Communications 10. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09373-w