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The Mountain Lions of Los Angeles now show signs of inbreeding

Courtesy of National Park Service

The mountain lions in Los Angeles’ Santa Monica mountains are so isolated from other cats – hemmed in by freeways and urban development – that biologists have long been worried they are at high risk of becoming inbred to the point of sterility. This week, researchers in California documented signs that inbreeding is already severe enough to manifest in the lion’s appearance: three have L-shaped kinks at the end of their tails. And among the males, some have cryptorchidism, a reproductive abnormality in which …

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