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Dogs How did they come to be? How many breeds?Ethical issues?
NP Dogs are our evolutionary best friends. How did they become this way? There are several working theories…the main theory focuses on dog domestication at the time prior to early agriculture…14,000 years ago…however, there are fossils that date twice that. Which leads to the idea that domestication happened twice. Mitochondrial DNA studies also suggest that a divergence from the common ancestor happened twice with dog domestication. What we can confirm is that dogs are the oldest pets humans have ever had. Dog domestication aided hunter gatherers. Dogs made hunting better. Let’s have a look at this BBC video discussing dog evolution and the possible impact on the development of agriculture.
NP Dogs and human brains have now become in sync with each other. We have co-evolved to become connected. Dogs fire off the maternal bonding system of our brains. We become connected on a biochemical level. Dogs also have become reliant on us in that they no longer rely on each other as a species. Studies have shown that dogs may be able to problem solve as their wolf ancestors do…but they default to humans to solve their problems. They use human cues to carry on with the next step. This as a whole means that dogs now can not survive as a species without humans. Dogs also seek prolonged interaction with humans…there are some working theories that wolves sought domestication and it may not be that humans initiated these interactions. Hunter gatherers are appealing to wolves in that they already have food. Those wolves who sought food have a higher advantage of working with humans to gain access to resources. Dogs likely domesticated themselves. There is DNA evidence that reinforces this…friendly dogs have a genetic sequence that is intact in aloof wolves who do not necessarily act like other wolves ( agrgresison). Humans also have a gene that recognizes friendliness…Williams-Beuren Syndrome (condition involving exceptionally trusting friendly behaviors) Discuss artificial selection and cuteness…discuss Russian fox studies..foxes learned what humans find cute…these foxes are social foxes. This particular study involved breeding friendly foxes who in turn developed a high level of adorableness…
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