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
....I must admit they are easier to care for ,but, their love is conditional and sparadic!
LOL. I take all four of mine. My bumper sticker says, "I don't Believe The Liberal Media" and "Join The Resistance..www.freerepublic.com"
As we were leaving they gave us a sympathy card signed by the doc and nurse with a footprint and a small shock of fur.
In the card, it stated that the hospital makes a memorial donation to PetsMart's animal rescue organization in your dog's name.
Before we left for the vet, I trimmed off a some fur and brushed her good beforehand. I now have a small pile of fur and we plan to release bits of it at our/her favorite campgrounds and hiking spots this summer.
Ok, I guess it makes it better by talking about it too.
Thanks for listening.
An old man has loved many good dogs.
No argument here!
Obligatory fair representation of labs of all colors!
You forgot one Dog! *wink*
My black lab pictured above, though is also a pure product of show breeders. He is [was, he is 13 years older and quite bent now] quite beautiful, but one of the lousiest retrievers you ever saw. He has been a good friend though. What he lacks in complex thought he more than makes up for in complete and utter honesty.
Luckily for me, my last three dogs all died at home, I did not have to take them in to be put down....but wherever the dog departs from, its always so wonderful to have the family hold the dog while it dies, and lets the dog know how much they are loved...oh, my, the tears a flowing....