What a pity neither Janice Koler-Matznick, nor her “The Origin of the Dog Revisited” ever existed (Google and download). Having read it, it beggars belief that so many continue to discuss the origin of dogs without being aware of it – as though it's possible to be any kind of genuine academic, while ignoring the most important contribution to a field!
posted by John Jackson
May 17, 2010 @ 5:34 PM
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 @ 9:44 AM
About once a month at Sigma Xi headquarters, we liven up the lunch hour with an American Scientist Pizza Lunch talk. In these informal lectures, scientists describe new research to nonscientists. The series is light on jargon but heavy on solid science. Each Pizza Lunch offers an in-depth look at its subject, whether it's bedbugs or the smart grid. Click below to read about and download these talks -- and to subscribe!
JSTOR, the online academic archive, now contains complete back issues of American Scientist from its inception in 1913 (as Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.