Welcome to another exciting edition of AMRC's genetic journey blog series! Today, I am elated to talk about an extraordinary genetic project, which we believe has produced a remarkable hybrid creature. We call it the "Pandasel".
The Pandasel is a terrestrial/aquatic wonder made from fusion-trial ER-78a, comprising DNA from a Red Panda and a Weddell Seal- two vastly different and unrelated species. The primary aim of this procedure was to explore the extent of viable cross-species genetic combinations and to research potential improvements in capabilities or survival skills by creating an animal capable of both terrestrial and aquatorial life.
We begin with the unique physical attributes of our brand-new Pandassel. The Pandasel sports a reddish-brown fur, like the Red Panda, but with the smooth texture and thickness of a Weddell Seal's coat for warmth in aquatic environments. It has maintained the bodily structure and size of a Red Panda, but with flipper-like limbs resembling a seal's, making it an agile and capable swimmer. The head is round, with prominent black bands around seal-like eyes, like a Red Panda. Its tail, similar to a Red Panda's ringed one, is less bushy and more horizontally flattened to aid in swimming. A truly eye-captivating sight to behold!
Over the course of observing our Pandasel, we've found that it's demonstrating promising traits from both parent species. From the Red Panda, the Pandasel has inherited an arboreal lifestyle, using its strong claws to climb trees and a sharp sense of hearing and smell. It is also characterized by a distinctive palate, favoring a diet of bamboo along with occasional small mammals and birds. From the Weddell Seal's end, the Pandasel has inherited the ability to thrive in cold aquatic environments, hold its breath underwater for an extended period (up to 45 minutes), and, to our quite delight, communicate in a variety of vocalizations like trills, chirps, and whistles!
Despite these fascinating advantages, the Pandasel has presented some challenges as well. Though bred with a hearty appetite for bamboo, its semi-aquatic lifestyle results in less access to its favorite food source. Additionally, its adaptation to cold water environments, while useful, limits its habitat to colder regions. Furthermore, the apparent confusion in determining whether to follow a primarily aquatic or terrestrial lifestyle sometimes leads to awkward transitions in movement from water to land and vice versa. They are more suited for lounging lazily in treetops or splashing around in sub-antarctic waters than quick land mobility.
In conclusion, our Pandasel represents a major milestone in genetic research, going beyond conventional limitations and evolving a new chapter in mammalian capabilities. Both regal and adorable, the Pandasel holds immense potential for future research and understanding. By studying its behavior and adapting capabilities, we hope to glean insights that might pave the way for even more exciting cross-species genetic combinations.
As always, stay tuned to our blog for further updates on our innovative trials and the inevitably fascinating creatures they bring forth. It's a big world out there, a world that's evolving every day by our hands, and we can't wait to discover more. Until next time!