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Let's say an endangered species had only two left (male and female) and they produced 4 children (two male, and 2 female), and those produced? Wouldn't the incest slowly degraded their genes? (Assuming the pair of children created 4 children each, etc)

My main question is could you really save a species with only two?

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closed as off-topic by Remi.b, David, WYSIWYG Dec 10 '18 at 13:00

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    $\begingroup$ Incest doesn't degrade genes. Incest increases the chance that alleles with deleterious mutations are paired and therefore expressed. (In other words, inbred offspring are more likely to have homozygous traits associated with deleterious mutations and therefore may experience decreased fitness). Good thing mutations can continue to occur.... $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Dec 7 '18 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ "degraded their genes" needs definition $\endgroup$ – Oct18 is day of silence on SE Dec 7 '18 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ Depends on multiple factors (environment, genetic composition of the parents, the physiology of the species, reproduction rate, etc). I guess it is theoretically possible but the chances of extinction are very high. Therefore as your question stands, it cannot be conclusively answered. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Dec 10 '18 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ Depends on multiple factors (environment, genetic composition of the parents, the physiology of the species, reproduction rate, etc). I guess it is theoretically possible but the chances of extinction are very high. Therefore as your question stands, it cannot be conclusively answered. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Dec 10 '18 at 13:00

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