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Genes Change at High Altitude

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Report published recently in the Journal of Biogeography says the wolves in the grasslands of Earth’s tallest mountains have a different set of genes compared to their gray counterparts. These Himalayan wolves are known for their long snouts, pale woolly pelts, and low-pitched calls.

Now studies have revealed that they are genetically different. Scientists say that these must be recognized as a separate species. The study was conducted on wolf faeces collected across the Tibetan Plateau of China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. DNA of 86 wolves were extracted from the samples.

Himalayan wolves have made adaptations to overcome lack of oxygen in the high altitude. The study also says that they are not restricted to Himalayas but also roam the whole of Tibetan Plateau which is at elevation above 4000 meters.

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