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Saturday, November 17, 2007

My ancestry!

I'm always intrigued about my ancestry. According to the National Geographic...
About 12,000 years ago hunter-gatherers in what is now Israel placed a body in a grave with its hand cradling a pup. Whether it was a dog or a wolf can’t be known.

Either way, the burial is among the earliest fossil evidence of the dog’s domestication. Scientists know the process was under way by about 14,000 years ago but do not agree on why. Some argue that humans adopted wolf pups and that natural selection favored those less aggressive and better at begging for food. Others say dogs domesticated themselves by adapting to a new niche—human refuse dumps.

Scavenging canids that were less likely to flee from people survived in this niche, and succeeding generations became increasingly tame. According to biologist Raymond Coppinger: “All that was selected for was that one trait—the ability to eat in proximity to people.”

At the molecular level not much changed at all: The DNA makeup of wolves and dogs is almost identical.
Here a wolf howl!




National Geographic goes on to say...
Wolves are legendary because of their spine-tingling howl, which they use to communicate. A lone wolf howls to attract the attention of his pack, while communal howls may send territorial messages from one pack to another. Some howls are confrontational. Much like barking domestic dogs, wolves may simply begin howling because a nearby wolf has already begun.

Wolves are the largest members of the dog family. Adaptable gray wolves are by far the most common and were once found all over the Northern Hemisphere. But wolves and humans have a long adversarial history. Though they almost never attack humans, wolves are considered one of the animal world's most fearsome natural villains. They do attack domestic animals, and countless wolves have been shot, trapped, and poisoned because of this tendency.
Read more about the wolf! And we hope you enjoy this great vid of the grey wolf.

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