Skip to comments.Dogs Make Us Human
Posted on 03/26/2002 10:29:27 AM PST by blam
Dogs make us human
By Heidi De Wald
Monday, 25 Mar, 2002
About 48% of Australian households own dogs. But can you imagine a world without dogs. And would we be the same if they were not here? Would human beings have developed in very different ways had our best friends not been by our sides?
A recent study suggests that the domestication of dogs mutually led to profound changes in the biological and behavioural evolution of both species.
It has long been known that the first species domesticated by humans was the wolf. In essence, we made wolves into dogs. But did wolves also make us, beginning over 100,000 years ago? This is the key question explored in this study.
New theories about the origins of modern humans, the earliest dogs and the crucial role of human-dog co-evolution are highlighted in this "ground-pawing" paper by Dr. Paul S.C. Tacon, Australian Museum, Sydney and Dr. Colin Pardoe, Bio-Archaeology consultant, Adelaide.
They present fossil evidence recovered by others supporting DNA results of dog domestication over 100,000 years ago and are the first to make the link between the fossil and genetic evidence.
"Our study, along with those of others published this year, shows the origin of modern humans and their behaviour is more complex than either of the popular theories suggests. A more exact picture of who we are and where we came from is only now emerging, one that is richer and more convoluted than the two impressionistic alternative models." said Dr. Paul Tacon, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum.
Drs. Tacon and Pardoe argue that the early canine-sapien relationship ultimately changed the world forever. They not only elaborate on and provide greater time depth for previous studies that focused on implications of the relationship for recent times but also explore the implications of dog domestication close to the time that modern humans are believed to have emerged. These include:
The origins of human territorial marking and, ultimately, the development of art and a symbolic explosion of land marking.
The development of big game hunting.
The origins of 'mateship' and new forms of bonding to negotiate complex situations.
Implications for the settlement of Australia.
Tacon and Pardoe conclude that, ultimately, dogs were one of a few key forces that led to anatomically and behaviourally modern humans of 100,000 years ago and that this has complicated the recent 'Out of Africa' versus 'Regional Continuity' debate.
Dogs Make Us Human is published today in the Autumn 2002 edition of Nature Australia - published by the Australian Museum.
Media contact: Heidi DeWald, Australian Museum, Sydney, +61 2 9320 6181
"GARM -- A HOSTAGE" -- ACTIONS AND REACTIONS
There is sorrow enough in the natural way From men and women to fill our day; And when we are certain of sorrow in store, Why do we always arrange for more? Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware Of giving your heart to a dog to tear. Buy a pup and your money will buy Love unflinching that cannot lie -- Perfect passion and worship fed By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. Nevertheless it is hardly fair To risk your heart for a dog to tear. When the fourteen years which Nature permits Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits, And the vet's unspoken prescription runs To lethal chambers or loaded guns, Then you will find -- it's your own affair -- But . . . you've given your heart to a dog to tear. When the body that lived at your single will, With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!) When the spirit hat answered your every mood Is gone -- wherever it goes -- for good, You will discover how much you care, And will give your heart to a dog to tear. We've sorrow enough in the natural way, When it comes to burying Christian clay. Our loves are not given, but only lent, At compound interest of cent per cent. Though it is not always the case, I believe, That the longer we've kept'em, the more do we grieve; For, when debts are payable, right or wrong, A short-time loan is as bad as a long -- So why in -- Heaven (before we are there) Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?
Yep, been there, done that.
Very timely article, and poem! Thanks.
PS: Our family welcomed it's newest member on Sunday, a 7 wk old pup.
Maceman's cat: Sounds like a pretty catty remark to me. Our dogs protect our cat. I'll bet you're a real nasty little thing. LOL!
Good, that should soften the blow.
Dogs are the best, so there, Maceman's cat! I must say, that cat is a pretty good typist.
Be the person your dog thinks you are
Every young boy should have a dog... it teaches him to always turn around three times before lying down.
My hubby and I lost have lost three of our dogs, in the 11 yrs we have lived at our current house...we have a little pet cemetary out in the back yard, beneath a big shady tree, where they used to like to lay down and rest...
My husband built each dog their own little coffin, and in that coffin they are all laid, with their favorite blankie wrapped around them...and shade loving plants are planted above each grave...
All three of our dogs died at home, surrounded by their families, as they went to sleep...they all died of old age, and thankfully I did not have to take them to the vet to be put down...they just went here at home...Dogs...God love em all...
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