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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Already extinct, the Zebra sub-species back to life

In 1883, after its population was reduced drastically due to act of the hunter, the world's last quagga died in the Amsterdam zoo. Quagga is a sub-species of zebra from South Africa, the only difference is they do not have dappled in the leg.

More than 100 years after the quagga extinct, scientists claimed that has been brought back the sub-species back to life, through selective breeding that diligently done for 30 years.

In the project called The Quagga Project, that begun 30 years ago, when Reinhold Rau, an inventor from the University of Cape Town, analyzing a collection of DNA samples from the quagga's skin. When the results arrived, he was surprised and delighted to discover the once-extinct creature is genetically the same as the zebra. In other words, quagga and zebra not a different species.

This knowledge is important, as it proves, the real difference between a zebra and quagga is located on fur patterns. With this information, Rau was planning to 'awaken' the species by selective breeding zebra to bring the quagga characteristics.
Scientist found that the Quagga genetically the same as the Zebra. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1WxuPA)
The main difference between the two species is the quagga graded stripes of black and white to brown or white plain towards the hind legs. Quagga in the 19th century sort of looks like the zebra after sat in the mud.

After breeding for 30 years, the team claims that the quagga has returned. Since the zebra and quagga have same DNA, scientists say, this latest generation was the extinct animals back to life.

"By all intents and purposes, the quagga back in. The project was a huge success," said one researcher, Eric Harley, as quoted ScienceAlert.

Although this sounds awesome project, many are critical of it and call it 'violates the natural law' and 'efforts to find public attention'. The team also responded that they did not use genetic modification to revive the quagga, and the project was responsible for the act of a hunter, and bring back the South African native animals they killed brutally.

However, the team agreed to call this new animal as 'Rau-quagga,' not quagga, to distinguish it. It is hoped this will silence the protesters.

One of the amazing aspects of this project, is that although rau-quagga were the breeding results animals, they are fertile. This is because, rau-quagga not the result of interbreeding. They are sub-species retain his genes, so that they can successfully breed.

The team hopes to continue the project to eventually create rau-quagga herd so that they could live freely in South Africa should their ancestors in the 19th century. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | THE QUAGGA PROJECT | SCIENCEALERT]
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