Document Detail

Ancon sheep: a now disproven example of macroevolution.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16440280     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The Ancon breed of sheep provided, for decades, a critical support for the existence of major evolutionary changes or jumps called "sports." Putative examples of sports have been used as evidence of rapid macroevolution since Darwin first discussed the Ancon sheep mutation in 1859. Ancon sheep had very short legs that were considered an advantage for shepherds because the sheep were less likely to escape over fences. Many textbooks and articles implied that the breed was an example of how a major new trait could evolve in a single generation. The Ancon sheep example has been used both to prove gradual Darwinism and also to argue for rapid evolution as opposed to gradualism. It now is recognized that Ancon sheep resulted from genetic diseases, and that they usually suffered from achondroplasia. The so-called new breed had so many major health problems that the condition caused the breed's extinction decades ago, yet was mentioned in textbooks as evidence for evolutionary jumps as recently as 2005.
Gerald Bergman
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Rivista di biologia     Volume:  98     ISSN:  -     ISO Abbreviation:  Riv. Biol.     Publication Date:    2005 Sep-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-01-27     Completed Date:  2006-04-12     Revised Date:  2011-10-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0416643     Medline TA:  Riv Biol     Country:  Italy    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  435-48     Citation Subset:  IM    
Northwest State College, Archbold, Ohio 43543, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Evolution
Dwarfism / genetics,  veterinary*
Selection, Genetic
Sheep Diseases / genetics*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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