Animal Behavior: Instinct Inbreeding In order to tease apart the genetic and environmental factors contributing to a behavior, it is useful to be able to hold one factor constant. Inbreeding animals over many generations will produce a population that is homozygous and genetically identical. Once experimental subjects are genetically identical, variations in a behavior due to environmental differences can be identified and their relative importance analyzed. Mice are commonly used for such inbreeding experiments. After about thirty generations, the population is about 98 to 100 percent homozygous. To examine the relative importance of genetic components of behavior while holding environmental components constant, two or more inbred strains may be used. Two different inbred strains that are different from each other can be assessed while holding the environment constant across both strains. Evolution
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