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Re: Hybrid sunnies

  The bioloigcal species concept states that if an individual can reprodue
with another individual (and, obviosuly, they're opposite sexes) and
produce VIABLE offpsring, then they are teh saem species.  Viable
indicates that not only must these fry not be three headed, kinked spined
mutants that'll die in an hour (i.e., blood red parrot cichlids.. YUCH) in
the natural world, but they must be able to reproduce and produce
offspring that'll survive.  With a lot of lower organisms, this concept
really messes with out species ideas.  Fish, a "higher" organism, time and
time again like to screw with this.  I'm uncertain if these sunfish can
interbreed and continue to produce viable offspring.  It would truly come
to no surprise to me if they could.  Biologists can't even figure out what
it means to be alive (definitiaion 1 includes fire and crystals.
definition 2 includes cars.  Definition 3 says a mule is not alive.
Definition 4 says ... ), let alone what ti really means to be of the same
species. :)

J. L. Wiegert
 Dubotchugh yIpummoH.                      bI'IQchugh Yivang!
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On Sat, 3 Oct 1998, Richard E Matheson wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: R W Wolff <raywolff at juno_com>
> To: nfc at actwin_com <nfc at actwin_com>
> Date: Saturday, October 03, 1998 1:20 AM
> Subject: Re: Hybrid sunnies
> >Longears, or any lepomis for that matter, will hybridize....
> Damned disrespectful of our species concept aren't they? I don't think we
> should let them get away with it! Perhaps education is the key; if they knew
> hybridization was wrong, perhaps they would do the right thing.
> Actually, the scientific literature contains many examples of hybridization
> in fishes. In a some (many?) cases this seems to happen in somewhat
> disturbed situations such as when a damn separates some individuals from the
> normal spawning grounds of their species and/or forces them into unusually
> close quarters with a related species (I think some famous person said "If
> you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with). In sunnies
> and some minnows it seems to be a relatively normal byproduct of their
> spawning behavior, but, as Ray Wolff said, the hybrids don't seem to persist
> for many generations. Although I have not rechecked the literature on this
> point, I would suspect that many of them are either sterile or have greatly
> reduced fertility.
> Ed