Cryptozoological enigma of Singapore foundation
The word Singapore has sanscrite origin. Singa means lion, pore – city. That is Lyoncity of Lyontown. This is name town, country, island and river. It is strange because lions are absent within this region and were absent in ancient time too. Lions lives in Africa and little population is in Saudabian Arabia. There is malay folk loure tale of 13 century. King Shri Three Buana was a muster of state Palembangs within imperia Shrivijaya (Sumatra, Java and Kalimantan). Making sea voyage, he was gotten by storm. Getting for safety, he got island named Tumasik. King saw a lion at beach and desided that it is fortunately meeting. King directed to found village, naming is Lioncity – Singapore. The first significant historical information on the city belongs to 1297.
Being in Singapore, I visited two libraries. They were library of museum of Singapore and of Asian civilization museum. I found correct text of tale. King Shri Three Buana appeared was doubted about nature of strange animal. This animal had red-and-yellow body, dark head and white thorax. King wrote that it was animal looking like lion. The image of lions was known from reports of voyager visiting Africa and Arabia. What animal it was? I have to repeat, that lions (Panthera leo), did not populated this region. But their close relativies tiger (Panthera tigris) lived here. Tigers and lions are separated species, but sometimes crossbreeding is available. The progeny, that is tiger-lions are sterile saying nothing about genetic ingeneering possible in future. King Shri Three Buana was able to meet untypical tiger. This tiger could be mutant. According to population genetics law, probability of abnormal mutant for in island population is bigger that in big continent population. King Shri Three Buana knew image of tiger very good. The doubt on identification suggests on abnormal phenotype of animal. King saw big example of cat family with real color. Such a characters are typical for many members of cuts family including home cat. Modern mammals genetics knows law of color pattern of animals. According to law suggested by genetisist N.Vavilov, all member of cats family must have the same color pattern but with different frequency. The normal image for any species must be abnormal for other one.
Cats have 2 color pigments. They are eumelanin (brown or black) and pheumelanin (yellow or red). Their composition leads to forming of number of colors from black to light yellow. The absence of pigments induce white color. White spots are vide spreads within cats family. The supersumarary number of eumelanin may take place at head making one black like legend Singapore animal. There are many genes controlling pattern of color. The gene "Е", has 3 states (alleles):
еbr - black colors according to yellow.
е – recessive yellow.
There relation are
E > еbr >e.
Intermediate allele еbr is typical for all members of cats family, having different effects. It induce pattern of bars within tigers, pattern of spots within leopards and composition of big yellow, black and white parts at the cover of home cats. The quantity relation between genes is different within different species. Leopards in 90% of cases have еbr, in 10% - Е. Hence majority of leopards are spotted, sometimes animals are black. Majority of lions have allele е. Hence, almost all animals are yellow-and-red. Other colors may exist under little probability. A little populations of a big predators cats leads to difficulty of fixation of rare colors. Majority of tigers have gene еbr, controlling pattern of bars. Under rare mutation it transformed into gene е, controlling constant yellow-and-red color. Such a tiger looks like lion without mane. Majority of cats have gene R, inducing big black spots (mainly at head) and white sports (mainly at thorax). Hence, tiger having rare genotype «ее R-» (frequency 1 per some thousands) must have image according to animal seeing by King Shri Three Buana. For support this hypothesis one need study genetic structure of modern tiger population within Indo-China region and Malaysia.
Then real tiger of rare genotype was transformed into myth animals. The basis for such an animal was real object of nature, that is Panthera tigris having genotype "ее R-".
Valentin Sapunov, professor of biology
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