Utne Blogs > Science and Technology

Animals Get Some Lovin’ From their Cousins

by Staff

Tags: Evolution, Biology, Weird Science,

History has shown the evolutionary costs of inbreeding, creating royal families with high rates of hemophilia and other diseases. In some cases, however, researchers have found that mating with kin can have evolutionary benefits, Ewen Callaway reports for Science News. Yes, diseases can be more easily passed down through generations, but beneficial adaptations are more likely to be passed down, too. In fact, to avoid some of the negative connotations of the word “inbreeding,” Cornell University ecologist Kelly Zamudio has coined a euphemism: “genetic complementation.” George Michael Bluth would be proud.

Bennett Gordon