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The Woof at the Door


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


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