• Question: Why should we find the genomes of dangerous animals?

    Asked by ameliabea56 to St Kilda Wren, Scotch Thistle, Hazel Dormouse, Emperor Dragonfly, Common Crane, Catshark, Brown garden snail, Barn Owl on 21 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: St Kilda Wren

      St Kilda Wren answered on 21 Nov 2017:

      Because we can learn a lot about the species, those they’re related to and, potentially, the rest of the animal kingdom. Dangerous animals (and there aren’t many, really) are just as interesting and worth studying as more timid species.

    • Photo: Lesser-Spotted Catshark

      Lesser-Spotted Catshark answered on 22 Nov 2017:

      The catshark isn’t a particularly dangerous animal. Most sharks are actually completely harmless (to humans anyway – I wouldn’t want to be a velvet crab in the vicinity of a catshark…). However it is true that some larger species like white sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks which frequently come into contact with humans can be dangerous and even deadly. There is the potential to understand more fundamentally how sharks detect and identify prey by using genome data. For example, we can search the genome for olfactory receptor genes (genes which contribute to sharks sense of smell) and may be able to design chemical deterrents which will repel sharks from areas where humans are swimming. This would be good for humans and for sharks as existing methods for preventing shark attack involve unnecessarily slaughtering them.

    • Photo: Common Crane

      Common Crane answered on 23 Nov 2017:

      Because they are a part of the chain and so are as important for the natural balance as the more docile creatures.

      And why limit ourselves to just one song, when we can have two? 🙂