From Cave to Kennel: Canine Evolution Explored

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How the scavenging wolf evolved into the remarkable spectrum of dogs who exist today has been somewhat of a mystery. The commonly held belief was that humans affected its evolution with selective breeding, assuring that future offspring would provide desired traits – while culling the weakest.

New evidence suggests otherwise. Recently unearthed fossils and analysis of historical genetic data suggest that humans and proto-dogs evolved together. Dog historian Mark Derr discusses canine evolution in the following interview from the Wall Street Journal, and explains how new scientific findings are changing our preconceived notions of the domesticated dog.

2 thoughts on “From Cave to Kennel: Canine Evolution Explored”

  1. Very interesting. I know that one of our dogs when it hears coyotes howl joins them and the other runs inside with me. We of course have a big fence and our animals don’t ever get close to the coyotes. But maybe one of our dogs is all dog and the other still has some wild genes. Very interesting.

  2. Over the past year or two, the PBS TV shows Nature and Nova have had several shows on dogs – where they came from, how they domesticated themselves, their intelligence, their special gifts like the sense of smell, and how they work with and for us humans. Fascinating.


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