1. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5

    Going from wildcats to cat breeds

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by caters, Jul 20, 2015.

    I am currently writing a novel called Rubiks World. In the 3rd chapter(which might become the 4th or 5th chapter) is the first time that the cubes encounter big cats.

    3 5x5 cubes go to a place in the african savannah where there is a tree and thornbushes.

    The first one attracts the gazelle with grass. The gazelle is injured from the thornbushes and so is put in the grassy area surrounded by thornbushes. The second one sets up box traps. The third one climbs up the tree(thankfully no leopards around) scouting for predators. He spots a mother cheetah and her 4 cubs. The cheetah cubs are old enough to eat meat so they follow the mother cheetah as she hunts the gazelle. On the other side he spots lions. He knows the lions are going after the injured gazelle and not the cheetahs. The mother cheetah and her cubs are trapped at the same time that the lions kill the gazelle. They take the cheetahs with them to the other cubes.

    These 4 cubs are raised and their mother is let back into the wild. It turns out to be 2 males and 2 females. These cheetahs are then trained to use their fast speed in woodlands without being foiled by all the trees. They are then bred into 42 different types. These 3 pattern types, 2 fur thickness types, and 7 color types to be specific:

    Pattern:
    Normal
    King
    Spotless

    Fur Thickness:
    Normal
    Wooly

    Color:
    Normal
    Red
    Cream
    Gray
    Blue
    Black
    White

    By then the cheetahs have been domesticated and each of 42 cubes has their own female cheetah. These domestic cheetahs still hunt but now they always bring it to their owners.

    They then decide to raise the 2nd largest african cat, the leopard to eventually domesticate it. Once every type of leopard has been raised they are domesticated. The cheetahs are a little afraid but the leopards are trained to be nice to the cheetahs. Eventually the cheetahs come close to the leopards and even mate with them giving birth to cheetapards.

    This is their 2nd major step towards the modern domestic cat. They then use the same approach with lions, jaguars, tigers, and then eventually all the wildcats are domesticated. There are still their wild counterparts though and not a major decrease in any species.

    Now that they have every wildcat species they then use trial and error to form every cat breed that exists.

    After that they build a pet store where cubes, cuboids, and other shapes can buy domesticated wildcats, cat breeds, and even some wildcat hybrids like cheetapards and ligers.

    Now the cubes know the mating formulas for each cat breed and so if they are out of that cat breed and somebody wants it they can give them the mating formula and the 2 starting cats(Which could be cheetah and lion, leopard and tiger, etc.). Now the cubes clarify which of the pair is supposed to be male and which is supposed to be female for each mating so that nothing goes wrong. That is unless they are out of a certain gender of 1 of the starting cats. But in that situation the cube, cuboid, or other shape wanting to produce that cat breed could ask something like "Can I borrow your lioness? I need it to produce this cat breed."

    But even if the cube, cuboid, or other shape does that he/she might say something like "No my lioness is sick and she is not in heat."

    In that case if the cube, cuboid, or other shape asks everybody who has a lioness and they all say no he/she can go to the pet store with his/her 1 cat and the mating formula and ask them to produce a lioness and give it to him/her when she is ready to mate. This leads to 2 situations. The better situation is that they have female lion cubs and say "Yes". The absolute worst situation is when they don't have any female cubs and say "Sorry. We don't have any female cubs. You will have to ask people if they have a female lion cub and raise it or if you don't find any, tell us and we will domesticate more lions." But this is a last resort since usually at least 1 cube, cuboid, or other shape would say "Yes she is healthy and in heat. You can have her and then give it back to me when her offspring are 2 years old."
     
  2. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,922
    Likes Received:
    5,458
    I'm confused. Do you have a question?

    Your "mating formula" concept seems to be assuming that each representative of a type is genetically identical to all other representatives of that type. Real-world genes don't work that way.
     
  3. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    No, I just thought that this would be the place to post it.

    And I don't mean to imply that all cats are genetically identical by having the concept of mating formulas.

    What I really mean by mating formula is hybrids and then backcrosses and then new hybrids etc. until the cat breed is reached.

    Like for example a particular cat breed might have this mating formula:

    Cheetah x Lioness -> Cheeton x Lion -> Licheeton x Lion -> Lilicheeton x Lion -> Lililicheeton x Lion -> Lilililicheeton x lynx -> Lilililicheeton lynx etc.

    As you can see cat hybrid nomenclature gets more complex with each generation. For the first one the cheetah was the male so Cheet is at the beginning and the lion was the female and so on was at the end. With the lion backcrosses each one ads Li to the beginning of the hybrid name. With the lynx nothing changed except now it is 2 words for the hybrid. After lots of generations a cat breed is reached. Then the cat isn't called that complex hybrid name anymore but rather the simpler breed name.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,922
    Likes Received:
    5,458
    Sure, but the problem with that is that there's no assurance that if you follow those hybrids and backcrosses, you'll get the same result that you got last time you followed the same ones.

    When you hybridize corn, as an example, you get a predictable result in the first generation, because the parents have been bred until every representative of each variety is genetically identical to every other representative.

    (Actually, it's really not, because a healthy variety of corn will never be truly completely genetically identical in all representatives; it's an outbreeder with strong inbreeding depression. But for the important genes, it's close enough.)

    So if you cross true-breeding Corn A and true-breeding Corn B, the first generation after the cross will all be identical, or identical enough for practical purposes. But the next generation and every generation thereafter will show genetic variety. I don't see how that genetic variety can be eliminated, backcrossing or not.

    Now, only a minuscule percentage of readers would know that. But I wanted to mention it, in case it matters to you.

    I could have my genetics wrong. But I trust my source and I'm moderately confident that I understand my source.

    Edited to add: Ah, yes. Meiosis. That's what I was trying to remember. If Mom is pure-breeding and Dad is pure-breeding, then the random choice of which chromosome "wins" isn't random--Kid gets one of Mom's two identical chromosomes and one of Dad's two identical chromosomes, and the dominant one of that pair "wins" in determining Kid's characteristics. And that's true for every Kid. Mom and Dad have no variety in what they each provide; that's what pure-breeding means.

    But when Kid then breeds, then it's random chance whether Kid passes on Mom's or Dad's chromosomes. So the Grandkids show variety.

    I believe that's a simplistic model, but adding complexity doesn't make the results more predictable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  5. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yeah like what if the first time you did it the cheetah and lioness were both normal but the second time you did it you used a king cheetah and a white lioness instead. This would lead to different results even with the backcrosses and could thus lead to 2 totally different cats.
     
  6. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    1,337
    The one thing that @ChickenFreak hasn't mentioned is that with such a small gene-pool as you'd get from cross-breeding 2 males and 2 females from the same litter you'd have horrendous in-breeding and, almost certainly, genetic defects in abundance. That's why the rules against consanguinity were invented; even mediaeval man knew that wasn't a good idea!

    To re-inforce @ChickenFreak's point, my wife and I both have brown eyes, and we both have at least one blue-eyed sibling. This means that (brown eyes being a dominant trait) we are both hybrid for eye colour. So I will donate either a brown-eyed or a blue-eyed gene, and so will my wife. There are four possible outcomes: brown x brown = pure-bred brown, brown x blue = hybrid brown, blue x brown = hybrid brown, blue x blue = pure-bred blue. As it turns out, we've got four children, all of whom have brown eyes. That doesn't mean the above is wrong, it simply means that EVERY time you roll those dice, you have the same 1 chance in 4 of blue eyes. Over time, the odds will even out...but four kids was enough! And what's so great about blue eyes, anyway? To emphasize that, I'd point out that one of my daughters has married a man with blue eyes, and both of their children are blue-eyed...conclusion = my daughter is brown hybrid, which means that her children will be either blue x blue = pure-bred blue or blue x brown = hybrid brown. In her case, the odds that one of her children would be brown-eyed has been beaten. Like I said, every dice-roll starts with the same evens possibility of either colour.

    Now, when you factor in that eye colour is only one possible variable, that's an awful lot of genetic diversity available to make it tricky to predict the outcome of any mating - even within a species.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,922
    Likes Received:
    5,458
    Sure, but I'm saying that if you breed the normal cheetah and lioness, and breed their children, there will be differences in the grandchildren. And if you breed the normal cheetah and lioness again, and breed their children, there will be differences in the grandchildren, and the differences will likely the somewhat different from the differences in the first set of grandchildren.

    Breeding has a random element. A breeding "recipe", beyond a first-generation hybrid of two different true-breeding varieties (and I believe that only plants can generally be brought to be "true-breeding" and, for that matter, only plants without inbreeding depression are truly close to identical) isn't possible.
     
  8. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    Well in this rubiks world novel the cheetahs from that 1 litter are all genetically unique partly because of the fact that cheetahs mate with coalitions of males and also because the original cheetahs were genetically diverse.

    So there isn't much inbreeding going on and each generation gets increasingly diverse. Like males from 1 litter might mate with females from a different litter thus decreasing the amount of inbreeding in each generation and increasing the genetic diversity at the same time.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,922
    Likes Received:
    5,458
    And that's part of why a breeding "formula" wouldn't be useful.
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    .... just to ask....

    Were cheetahs chosen for this concept experiment on purpose, knowing their unique genetic situation? Cheetahs appear to have passed through an extremely tight "genetic bottleneck" about 10 - 12 thousand years ago, leading to a current population with an extremely low genetic diversity.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC46261/
     
    Hubardo likes this.
  11. Hubardo
    Offline

    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    566
    A well written historical cat-centered fiction about how this bottleneck occurred would be pretty much the coolest thing ever written.
     
    Void likes this.
  12. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5

    They were chosen as the first cats to be bred because:
    1) Cheetahs are 1 of my favorite cats
    2) In this book the cheetahs haven't went through that bottleneck
    and
    3) Out of all the big cats, cheetahs are the easiest to domesticate since they are extremely docile
     
  13. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yeah but how else would someone know how to get the cat breed they want starting with 2 different cats besides knowing the genetic testing they originally did on the cats(Which was part of their trial and error) and seeing if the results from the original genetic test match with the results from the more recent genetic test? I mean DNA testing for potentially hundreds of cats just to see if any match the original genetic test would be expensive. That is partly why I thought "Well a mating formula is close enough".
     
  14. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,922
    Likes Received:
    5,458
    I'm not sure what you're asking here. If a breeding formula won't work, it won't work. And it won't work. The fact that you want it to work because an alternative is expensive, doesn't change the fact that it won't work.

    Sexual reproduction includes a random element. That random element is inconvenient, but that fact doesn't change the fact that it's there. And unfortunately, a fair percentage of people know how genes work and will know that a breeding formula concept won't work.

    There are many scientific details that can be faked without most readers noticing, but I don't think this is one of them.
     
  15. Sifunkle
    Offline

    Sifunkle Dis Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    570
    A lot's been said, so I can't address everything, but @ChickenFreak and Co. are correct. A mating formula as you describe would never produce reliable results unless you had some magical population of uniform genetics. Such populations usually only exist in clonal species (no mammals that I'm aware of) and because those reproduce asexually, they can't be crossed (well... Some toggle between sexual and asexual reproduction, but I'm getting off-topic).

    Do you understand what a "breed" actually is (in the context of domesticated animals)? It's a group of individuals that can be reliably crossed to produce offspring with a very specific set of traits. You make a new individual by mating existing individuals, not by mimicking the series of matings by which the breed originally arose from other breeds (genes are way too complex for that to be reliable, not to mention how long it would take). Basically, especially in a sexual species, the chance of evolution happening the same way twice, even with a similar mating pattern, is infinitesimally small.

    If you want a Siamese, you mate a Siamese with a Siamese. On the other hand, 'labradoodle' is not a legitimate breed of dog: it simply describes the (offspring of a) cross between a Labrador and a poodle - the offspring usually have some traits of each parent breed, but are very seldom similar to each other, i.e. there is no consistent set of specific physical traits, so it's not a breed.

    However, @caters , what you've described comes close to how you might develop a "breed variant" (my terminology here might be a bit off). If you have an established breed and you want to modify one particular trait, you could cross it once with a similar breed that has that trait, then serially back-cross with the original breed, making sure you only ever use offspring that have inherited the desired trait. The offspring of the first cross won't look much like the original breed, but the more you back-cross, the more they'll come to resemble it. You'd need to develop both a male and a female that have the trait, and then pray that when you cross them, they reliably produce the desired trait (otherwise all your work is for nothing). It works best if the trait only depends on one gene locus, and has a simple inheritance pattern (autosomal dominant is best). And that's ignoring inbreeding...

    That's the basis of how farmers can make a poll (hornless) version of a usually-horned cattle breed, or how you might be able to breed a full tail onto a Manx cat. When you were outlining your Lilililicheeton mating scheme above, I could have imagined you were producing a spotted lion (assuming you were always selecting spotted offspring to back-cross). Up until you introduced lynx, anyway... So I suppose that's a semi-plausible explanation for how you could introduce one specific trait from one big cat species to another - but it would probably take many more back-crosses than you've suggested. If you did manage to develop a reliably-breeding variant, maybe you could then do similar for another trait, and another, until you'd produced a new breed altogether. It would take a very long time, and many failed attempts, to produce all the combinations you're talking about (not to mention considering all the other traits you didn't mention).

    I say "semi-plausible" because "outbreeding" is also a thing. To create breed variants you cross similar breeds. However, big cats are entirely different species: they only mate with artificial intervention, which means they've been evolutionarily isolated for a long time. This means that each species has probably built up a whole array of different gene complexes that govern many traits (I.e. many different genes interacting, with the entire complex inherited together). Crossing a lion to something as different as a cheetah would obliterate those gene complexes, and probably no amount of back-crossing would repair the damage. And doing the same cross again would obliterate the gene complexes in an entirely different way, so that you couldn't just breed the offspring. But that's perhaps getting more technical than a layman would, so you might get away with it.

    Also bear in mind that many South American species have a different number of chromosomes to other cats, so offspring of crosses would likely be unviable/infertile.

    Sorry for writing so much. If you TL;DR'd, my conclusion is that making "breeds" via mating patterns is bollocks, especially if crossing different species. But it's your story. If you want to entertain rather than be perfectly scientifically accurate, do what you want. If you really want big cat hybrids, and you're talking about DNA testing, etc anyway, why not make transgenic breeds via gene splicing?
     

Share This Page