there's a lot of support for the idea that a certain population of wolves fell on hard times or became habituated with feeding off the scraps of humans. the aggressive ones would have to be driven off or killed, but certain individuals (probably based on testosterone levels) were approachable, and served a useful purpose in defend their delicious meat scraps from competing predators, thereby helping to protect the humans.
some russians did a long term study using arctic gray foxes, and by selecting for approachability, they also developed curly tails, spotted coats, doglike floppy ears, and adult vocalizations typical of juveniles in a wild fox population.
they came for the food, they stayed for the friendship.
posted by mike list
August 9, 2010
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