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Scientists find method to pick noncompetitive animals, improve production

hey were able to confirm two-thirds more inherited trait variations that impact social interactions than could be identified with classical selection analysis.

"Now we have a tool to explain how species in nature evolved in response to each other," Muir said. "It can be applied across species and can tell us how social interactions developed in the past and will develop in the future between individuals and among various animal species.

"This is important because the most stable ecosystems are those that have multiple species that cohabitate. Natural selection is nature's way of keeping the ecosystem in balance."

Muir previously proved that animals living in groups and bred to be more passive sustain fewer injuries and are more productive than animals bred naturally. For instance, chickens bred to be less aggressive don't engage in as much pecking, which often causes severe injury and even death. The energy that animals used for negative behavior or to avoid such activities is then transferred to production.

"This selection methodology is a roadmap to improving the breeding of domesticated animals," Muir said. "The tool also could allow us to domesticate more species as readily available food sources, such as cannibalistic shellfish and game fish."


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Source:Purdue University


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