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NEW RESEARCH ON HOW DOGS AND CATS BECAME MAN'S BEST FRIENDS
NY Post ^ | June 6, 2009 | Maureen Callahan

Posted on 06/07/2009 2:50:13 AM PDT by Scanian

They have lived in our homes, been members of the family, slept on our laps for over 10,000 years. Yet it is only recently that science has begun to answer how it is that cats and dogs came to be our most prized companion animals - discovering, along the way, how the domestication of cats and dogs actively helped change the course of human history.

"Domestication," says scientist Carlos Driscoll, "is evolution that we can see." Driscoll is a researcher at Oxford University and the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, where much of the world's leading work on cats has been done over the past 30 years. (Cats, like dogs, have their own versions of human diseases - they suffer from feline leukemia, HIV/AIDS, SARS - and so are especially valuable for scientists.) A happy, unexpected byproduct of this research has led to recent discoveries in how and why these two animals yoked themselves to human beings, and vice versa. When did this pair bonding begin, and why? What were the benefits? How long did it take for dogs and cats to become dependent on humans - or are they, really? And what is it that these animals can tell us about not only our biological makeup and evolutionary history, but about what it is to be human?

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry; cats; dogs; godsgravesglyphs; science
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To: 9YearLurker

“I also don’t get the idea that cats contributed nothing when humans had them join the tribe: they are ferocious hunters of small rodents, and any agrarian society needed that!”

If they didn’t kill cats as familiars to witches they would’ve prevented the plague.


21 posted on 06/07/2009 8:43:51 AM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: Riley

Yes. People think that I have oddly patterned clothing, but most of my clothes are solid colors.


22 posted on 06/07/2009 9:09:22 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Slings and Arrows
"When did this pair bonding begin, and why? What were the benefits? How long did it take for dogs and cats to become dependent on humans - or are they, really? And what is it that these animals can tell us about not only our biological makeup and evolutionary history, but about what it is to be human?

Egad! The hubris of navel gazing! Here are your answers: Kittens are cute. Dogs are loyal. Both are loving, and they're capable of expressing that love. End of research. Get a life.

P.S. We didn't evolve.

23 posted on 06/07/2009 9:17:02 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: AnAmericanMother

I also believe that there are breeders who are introducing some small wildcats into the gene pool. I have a cat who is supposedly part desert lynx. He’s pretty stupid and a bit jumpy. I also have enjoyed Blue Russians (not eating them silly but love the breed) which is much different IMHO than the typical domestic shorthair. Also love the Maine Coon Cat which I think must have some wild cat in it.


24 posted on 06/07/2009 9:17:35 AM PDT by Mercat (When you make non-violent revolution impossible, you make violent revolution inevitable.)
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To: Mercat

Mmmmmmmm Blue Russian Stroganoff...


25 posted on 06/07/2009 9:33:19 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 139 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: AnAmericanMother

As you can tell by my screen name, my favorite is also the Siamese.

Siamese are vastly different than the rescues I have.

Rescues are extremely sweet, but as far as I am concerned, the Siamese are by far, much smarter.


26 posted on 06/07/2009 9:36:56 AM PDT by siamesecats
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To: null and void

stop that!!


27 posted on 06/07/2009 10:09:21 AM PDT by Mercat (When you make non-violent revolution impossible, you make violent revolution inevitable.)
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To: Mercat

LOL!

};^P


28 posted on 06/07/2009 10:18:05 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 139 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: 9YearLurker

***Not unlike those birds that have learned to lay their eggs in other birds’ nests!***

Cow birds, I believe. I hate the selfish things. I once saw a large baby cow bird chasing after a tiny sparrow for food thinking she was his mother. Felt sorry for the sparrow who sheltered it.


29 posted on 06/07/2009 10:49:31 AM PDT by kitkat
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To: TheOldLady

***Egad! The hubris of navel gazing! Here are your answers: Kittens are cute. Dogs are loyal. Both are loving, and they’re capable of expressing that love. End of research. Get a life.

P.S. We didn’t evolve.***

Agreed!


30 posted on 06/07/2009 10:53:12 AM PDT by kitkat
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To: Beowulf9

Yes, I’d forgotten about that bit. Makes you wonder what they spared us over the centuries.


31 posted on 06/07/2009 10:57:05 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Scanian

My animals are among my best friends. Thanks for posting.


32 posted on 06/07/2009 10:57:22 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: mysterio

Glad you liked it. Good to hear from another animal lover.


33 posted on 06/07/2009 11:07:52 AM PDT by Scanian (i)
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To: AnAmericanMother

There are two types of measers, the much more seen narrow style face and the original round apple style face measers. Truly they are one-of-kind.


34 posted on 06/07/2009 11:08:03 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Live Long And Prosper!"-Mr. Spock:)=^..^==^..^==^..^==^..^=)
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To: allmost

I disagree, very strongly. My cat cries and moans if I shut my bedroom and office doors, waits for me at the door when I come home, and sleeps at my feet every night.


35 posted on 06/07/2009 12:21:26 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: kabumpo

I agree to disagree. They are hunters.


36 posted on 06/07/2009 12:30:07 PM PDT by allmost
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To: Mercat
Oh, yeah. There have been various outcrosses to small wildcats -- most common are Bengals, which were developed from Asian Leopard Cats (Felis bengalis). I have seen them at cat shows and they seem remarkably calm and tame, but haven't had anything to do with them personally.

There is also a nifty little cat called the Ocicat that resembles a small wildcat but is actually a Siamese-Abyssinian cross with a little Spotted Tabby thrown in.

A cat that's very like the Russian Blues (which after Measers are really too mellow for my taste) is the Chartreux, a nifty blue-green cat with bright orange eyes.

Maine Coons are nifty kitties, the size and heavy bone may derive from the Norwegian Forest Cat, or it could just be big old longhaired cats. The raccoon thing is just nonsense.

37 posted on 06/07/2009 1:35:40 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: allmost

Dogs have masters, cats have staff.


38 posted on 06/07/2009 1:39:45 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: Scanian
No cat is ever anybody's best friend. A cat wouldn't take a bullet for you.

A cat would sit there and complain about not getting fed or petted.

<FLAMEPROOF SUIT=ON>

39 posted on 06/07/2009 1:43:12 PM PDT by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: AnAmericanMother

But they don’t do it for YOU. They do it for THEM.

;-)


40 posted on 06/07/2009 1:44:01 PM PDT by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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