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the domestication of the dog is a topic that fascinates researchers. And rightly so. This species carries with humans virtually its entire history.
How do you get a poodle from a wolf? The most comprehensive answer to this question is that nobody knows for sure. Man’s best friend has been in our lives, our species, several thousand years. Almost too long. But that does not mean we do not have good hypotheses and evidence tell us, quite precisely, When we begin to live with each other, benefiting each other’s company . This is what we know about the domestication of dog and their ancestors.
the ancestral wolf
There are fossil evidence suggests that the relationship between the ancestors of dogs and humans back to 100,000 years ago. However, what does the scientific evidence say without doubt is that dogs were already close to us last twenty or thirty thousand years. But what happened in that time? Genetic tests have shown that dog, or Canis lupus familiaris is a subspecies of wolf , Canis lupus . In fact, these studies make us suspect that all dogs and wolves come from the same ancestor, the gray wolf. In particular of a population that is almost certainly lived in Europe and disappeared long ago. However, it is not entirely clear and the debate still stands on whether the dog was domesticated in several locations spaced by time and space. What is clear, in one and the other hypothesis is that there was an ancestral wolf originated wolves and current dogs.
The dog ate grass
It is difficult to understand how it started the relationship that led us to domestication. In all probability the wolf approached the primitive settlements in search of scraps of food. Over time, this approach gave him some security. We do not know how or when it happened, but at some point, the ancestral wolf began to defend the group that went by the benefits it brought . Later, who knows how, was introduced (by his insistence or by the action of the human being) within the tribe itself. There is evidence that this happened before even that humans began to settle and grow.
probably this fact was crucial in the domestication of dogs. A few years ago two cubs just three months frozen at an ancient site of mammoths were found. His age is around twelve thousand years or more. They are known as “ dogs Tumat ” from North Russia. Its condition is extraordinary. So much so that when researchers dissected the bodies all kinds of information found. Among other things, herb remains in the stomach of one of the puppies . He had already begun the transition to a broader, more omnivorous diet or simply the puppy had started eating grass for another reason?
The human proximity helped the ancestral dogs are accustomed to eating remains and plant sugars Another recent study helps clarify what happened to the ancestral dogs during the development of agriculture. The genetic study shows how the species began to change. Metabolic and molecular “tools” that help the processing of starch and other stuff selecting plant were animals. This means that, at a given moment, the proximity of the human helped the ancestral dogs are accustomed to eating remains and plant sugars , away from diets typical of other carnivores proteins. This process is key in the domestication process.
Man’s Best Friend
Let’s do a little summary. At one point, for several tens of thousands of years, maybe more, an ancestral wolf approached the tribes of hunters looking for waste. Over time, the species gradually involving themselves in the life of the tribe. Who knows if the approach was one of the two parties or mutual, but, gradually, the wolf began performing functions within the hominid tribe. This prompted changes in the animal’s diet was changing, in turn, their appearance . Gradually, the wolf became an ancestral dog. Later came the domestication itself, where the human and dog interact consciously. Much later it came, then the selection of the more than 800 breeds that exist today. And all from a wolf.
A large genetic study showed makes a years, probably the original source of the dogs focus on Europe, rather than Asia, as was thought some time ago. However, although genetics seems increasingly clear leaving the origins of dogs and their domestication, there is a question we get not yet reveal and questioned some points the genetic analysis. Has there been domesticated several times (and so disjointed) in our history? We know, by the remains, the dog has been present in almost every culture known in the world. Even some disconnected from each other for millennia. However, man’s best friend was already there before we “redescubriéramos”. There is still much to study. Yes, and we need less, much less, to understand how a chihuahua, a St. Bernard and a German Shepherd may have the same ancestor.
March 29, 2016
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