Animals bred in captivity develop physical changes that may hinder survival in the wild, research finds

Thu, 8 Dec 2022 20:39:52 +1100

Andrew Pam <xanni [at]>

Andrew Pam

"Animals bred in captivity experience significant physical and behavioural
changes that may disadvantage their survival chances once released into the
wild, a wide-ranging research review has found.

Analysis from the Australian National University shows “captive environments
drastically alter selection pressures on animals”, with documented differences
in many species.

The ANU’s Dr Dejan Stojanovic, a study co-author, said that “seemingly isolated
examples of major changes to animal phenotypes” were part of a trend that had
gone unnoticed for decades. “It’s a global thing that affects everything from
butterflies through to elephants,” he said.

The review drew together existing international and Australian research.
Captive-bred lions and other carnivores, for example, have differing skull bone
shapes and weaker bite force, likely due to a diet of ground meat. In
captivity, monarch butterflies, whose migrations normally span thousands of
kilometres, lose their migratory tendency, are unable to orient south, and have
different wing shape and weaker grip strength."

       *** Xanni ***
--               Andrew Pam                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu            Partner, Glass Wings               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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