Biologists have sequenced the genome of endangered hammerhead sharks and found signs of inbreeding

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists conducted a genetic study of endangered species of sharks: the giant hammerhead shark and the mako shark.

Biologists have collected and analyzed the genome sequences of giant hammerhead sharks and mako sharks.

They were compared with the genetic data of the whale shark, white shark, brownstripe and Japanese cat sharks.

Whole genome sequencing has shown that their population has declined substantially over 250,000 years. In addition, great hammerhead sharks have low genetic variability, making them less able to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

This species also shows signs of inbreeding (inbreeding).

Although scientists don’t know exactly the consequences of inbreeding in sharks, studies on wolves and cheetahs show that over time it leads to negative traits. As a result, the survival rate of the species is often reduced.

The mako shark, however, has shown greater genetic diversity and less pronounced inbreeding. This gives ecologists hope, as it increases the chances of the species to survive.

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