Start Dating genetic bottleneck america cheetah summary

Dating genetic bottleneck america cheetah summary

Females frequently mate with several different males while they are fertile and are then likely to bear a single litter of cubs fathered by multiple males — making many of the cubs within a single litter only half-siblings.

So Gottelli's team collected feces from mothers, their cubs, and potential fathers and then extracted and analyzed the DNA to perform paternity tests on the cubs.

As a species, cheetahs have famously low levels of genetic variation.

This can probably be attributed to a population bottleneck they experienced around 10,000 years ago, barely avoiding extinction at the end of the last ice age.

But now researchers have revealed that cheetahs buck this sexual stereotype.

According to the May 2007 study, female cheetahs seem to be at least as promiscuous as their male counterparts.

A population with low genetic variation is something of a sitting duck — vulnerable to all sorts of environmental changes that a more variable population could persist through.

And unfortunately, those are exactly the circumstances faced by cheetahs today.

In this case the female who mated multiple times and had variable offspring would pass her genes on to the next generation, while the female who mated singly and had a more uniform litter would not.