As the critically endangered eastern lowland gorilla suffered enough, scientists this week confirmed the inevitable disappearance of the subspecies.
Once the abundance in the mountainous forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the primate population has fallen from 50 to 80 per cent since the mid-1990s; The Grauer burns now occupy only 13 percent of their historical range.
Years of civil disorders, poaching and habitat destruction have led to more than a few dead animals: A comparison of genomes from historical and modern examples of eastern gorillas highlights the loss of genetic variation among kissing relatives.
According to researchers from Uppsala University and the Swedish Natural History Museum, mean that primates are likely to become less able to adapt to the epidemics of future diseases and changes in their environment.
"This recent increase in harmful mutations really emphasizes the need to change the current decline in the population of Gorer Gorillas," said Dahlene, a professor at Stockholm's Natural History Museum, in a statement.
Some of the potentially harmful mutations, as reported by Uppsala University, have been found in genes that influence disease resistance and fertility in men.
Scientists have also identified abnormalities that have led to loss of function in finger and heel developmental genes – probably explaining why some of today's primates have merged numbers.
"Our study emphasizes that historical museum samples are the only source for monitoring the recent changes in the genetic status of endangered species," said Katerina Gusanski, assistant professor at the Uppsala University.
Linked mountain gorillas, however, shows no sign of genetic changes, suggesting that her heredity has remained stable over the past 100 years.
(Probably helped the fixed population of mountain gorillas for several thousand years, and their small communities may have allowed natural selection to remove harmful mutations before the numbers in the 20th century begin to fall.)
The full results were published this week in the magazine Current biology.
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