ok- I have a project and I wanted some input on how I was doing from some 'experianced' chinchilla people
It's on genetics...
Ever wonder why your eyes are blue, but both of your parent's eyes are brown? Everyone knows it is because of the "crazy" world of genetics, but not alot of people realize, that "crazy" world of genetics is actually very open, true, and extremely organized. Knowing and understanding genetics can help you further on in life when you have questions about your future offspring.
Let's say that your family has a sex-linked trait, such as baldness. Sex-linked traits are traits that are carried on the X chromosome. Males are the carriers of X chromosomes, therefore, making it almost a sure deal that females do not inherit that, for example, baldness trait. Blame your mother's dad for this trait. Explaining how it is less likely for females to get it, I have provided a diagram.
Let's take the chinchilla as our "guinea pig" because they can be as simple or complex as you'd like. Unlike mice that hold their young for a short three weeks- chinchillas are pregnant for one hundred and eleven days. That's about two months. Determining the color of the "kit", or baby chinchilla, depends on the code of life, or DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Chromosomes are sticks (pieces) of DNA. Imagine a yard stick. Each mark would simply divide DNA (or yard) stick into pieces. Each and every piece of DNA would be information of how to "make" something. Such as fur color. Each peice is called the loci (like location) of a gene. Each gene is one unit of information.
All animals (remember humans, also), get half of their chromosomes from the mother and half from the father. So the kits, each have 32 pairs of chromosomes. Let's say that you now have two yard sticks. Each has the same number of loci (inches) in the same order. Now, the loci known as five inches is where the gene for fur pigment is locatied. There is always more than one gene that may be at a certain loci. The gene to be "grey" and the gene to be "beige" occupy the same loci. On one stick it may say "grey" and on the other, it may say "beige", or both say "grey" or both say "beige".
This is an overveiw of how the genes are carried. If two corresponding loci have the same gene, for example, the chinchilla has two grey (gg) or two beige (BB) would be called homozygous. If it has two different genes, one on each chromosome in the correspondong loci, such as grey and beige, (BB) that is called heterozygous. Think "homo" same and "hetero" different.
Now we're going to get into the genes themselves. Certain color genes may be dominant, meaning only one single genotype (what alleles are combined in the offspring; Gb) needs to be present to show that observable trait, or phenotype. A phenotype is the physical way a genotype is expressed. Think physical for phenotype. Anyway- The dominant colors are Beige, Wilson White, Black Velvet, and Ebony (which is sometimes classified as recessive, but a gene is based on the other possible genes that can be in the same loci). Grey, which is the color that occurs in the wild is actually recessive, meaning two chromosomes must be present in each parent to show that color, or trait. Other recessive genes are Violet, Saphire, and more. A lack of these colors is dominant over their expression.
These genes shown at the right are not all on the same loci. They are likely to be at different chromosomes. That allowes more than one color gene to be expressed at once to form a blend of colors. Like I stated before, Beige and Grey share a loci. Black Velvet shares a loci with "lack of Black Velvet", which is a version of the gene that does nothing, and white is the same way at another loci- just as Ebony is at yet another loci. To write a list of the genes an animal is known to have, is called writing it's genotype, as previously stated. To make it accurately simple to read and write, the colors have been randomly assinged letters for each gene. Capitalized for dominant and lowercase for recessive. Over at your right are my choices of letters. They are not official- you can have whatever letters you want, but they serve the purpose.
(When I said stuff like "the figure to your right", I'm going to have diagrams like punnett squares and what not)