It took a long time to domesticate the dog, and it didn’t just happen overnight. Dogs are a man’s best friend, have evolved from wolves, and then were domesticated. We know dogs as loving and caring animals, but many hears ago they weren’t. The dog is a carnivorous, domesticated wolf (Canis lupus familiaris) of the family Canidae, to which the jackal and fox also belong. The dog is descended from the wolf.
If other animals, like silver foxes, domesticate similarly to the way a dog evolves then why were dogs domesticated rather than a different species? The topic of dog domestication poses many unanswered questions. When and where did wolves first interact with humans? How did these two different species interact and why? Even with the species barrier, humans and wolves have a lot in common.
The wolf has often played an arguable role in people’s mind; however, in some cultures like the Native American one, the wolf is seen as a guide who can show humanity the way to get closer to their roots. In some other cultures, the wolf has been seen as the villain or as the wolf who tried to eat children or even as the one who is wearing a sheep suit to rule the real sheep to be able to eat them. However in indigenous or Native cultures, the wolf has been given a lot of great qualities. The wolf can be the pathfinder, way shower, and community builder, showing qualities like loyalty, protection, and companionship. The wolf has also been seen in the role of teacher, and healer.
The narrator of the video proposed two hypotheses to explain this evolutionary diversification. The “adoption hypothesis” suggests that our human ancestors thousands of years ago came across an irresistible wolf pup, fell in love with it, and brought it home to raise as a pet. Through constant battles with the predatory instincts of wolves, our ancestors were able to artificially select for the tamest animal and eventually domesticate the wolves, which became the dogs. On the other hand, the “leftover hypothesis” proposes that the domestication of wolves came about as a by-product of city development. When human settled down in villages, waste dumps would have inevitably appeared.
Previous studies of the origin of dogs using mtDNA as well as Y chromosome has identified indigenous dogs from southeast Asia as the “basal lineage connecting to wild grey wolves” (Wang et al. 2013 p. 3). Populations of dogs and wolves split around 32kya with decreasingly common admixture due to undesirable traits of the hybridization (Wang et al. 2013). Wang et al.
The original species domesticated at the time, was the gray wolf, or Canis lupus. Dog domestication began for a myriad of reasons, protection, food, fur, and to act as a beast of burden. Even today, domestication of dogs continues in numerous ways in order to create a 'better' companion. Originally, some authors wrote that dogs were descended from a species of wild dog, now extinct, that was distinct from wolves; this has since been disproved. The earliest carnivorous fossils, that can be linked to some variation of wolf or fox, are the Miacids that lived during the Eocene period, approximately 38 to 56 million years ago.
Many forms of dog food are meat based, though, similar to the carnivorous diet of the gray wolf. Beyond commercial store-bought food, domesticated dogs do, however, form natural instincts that tend to have them go after smaller prey at times. Communicative patterns were also handed down from gray wolves to dogs, as behaviors dogs have inherited from wolves include "a complex communication system ranging from barks and whines to growls and howls" (Basic). Dogs commonly display barking to show a variety of emotions and barking i... ... middle of paper ... ...of wolves, and have evolved from the gray wolf species specifically. This evolution began about 10,000 years ago when the first dogs became domesticated.
Wolves are scavengers as well as hunters and may have been some of the first animals to discover this squander treasure (Horowitz, 2009). The least fearful of these wolves became increasingly undaunted by the presence of the unfamiliar humans. Together the two species began to tolerate one another through prolonged encounters until finally, humans began taking in a few pups as “pets” or, in times of hardship, “food.” Eventually, our ancestors began intentionally breeding these “domesticated” wolves to serve as assistant hunters and protectors (Horowitz, 2009). We can only surmise that the functionality of these domestic wolves served a great purpose; for what other reason would justify letting a meat-eater into one’s home? It would be difficult to provide provisions for such an animal and if one were unsuccessful, they befall a risk of becoming their pet wolf’s next meal.
But White Fang beats the odds and lives to be christened; the Scott family now calls him “The Blessed Wolf”. He lives, because of his extraordinary natural toughness, and his legacy of the wild, thus this shows the great power that is his, the power that he relaxes into love and ease but still keeps ready in case there is need for it in the treacherous world. Most of this book concerns White Fang’s struggles with savage nature, Indians, dogs, and white men.