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Hybrid Power: Salamander invader ups survival of rare cousin

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12:12pm, September 19, 2007

Crossbreeding between the rare California tiger salamander and an invasive species has given the mixed offspring a surprising boost in survival, say geneticists.

Though the lineages of barred tiger salamanders and the California tigers split some 5 million years ago, the species crossbreed in the Salinas Valley, according to Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Fish-bait entrepreneurs imported young barred salamanders from Texas about 60 years ago.

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