Thank you very, very much for your excellent article concerning our
recently published study, “Observations of brachygnathia superior in
wild ruminants in Western Montana, USA.”
Your article stated everything correctly, using the proper words for
what our study reported. An article about our study, published in
another weekly newspaper, incorrectly called the developmental
malformations our study reported, “ungulate mutations.” Mutations are
“permanent variation in genetic structure with offspring differing from
parents in a characteristic.” What we reported, underdevelopment of the
facial bones, has been observed on birds and mammals to happen to the
fetus or embryo during development in the egg or womb. It has also been observed to suddenly happen to newborns days or weeks after the animal was hatched or born with normal facial structure. That does not in any way “show a variation in genetic structure.”
Also, no matter at what stage in development the bone underdevelopment happens, giving the affected animal or bird an electrolyte supplement to stimulate active transport of the calcium across the cell walls will help the young animal grow to its normal “genetically programmed” facial configuration or close to it. Mutations obviously can’t be reversed or be caused to grow to normal by a dietary supplement, since they are programmed by the genes to be abnormal.
What we reported in our study is an epigenetic change, not in any way a
“mutation.” The genes are not changed! Underdevelopment of facial bones are also not caused by inbreeding! Underbite because of inbreeding is caused by genetic programming of the lower jaw to grow too long.
Our study reported that what is indicated by many, many studies to cause the underdeveloped facial bones on multiple grazing animals, both wild and domestic, is the following: the switches to trigger growth of certain bones and the active transport of calcium to the cells appears to be adversely affected by exposure to endocrine disrupting pesticides during development.
The sooner everyone understands this, the sooner we can begin to bring the populations of grazing animals back to normal in structure and population numbers.