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  • Small Dogs Originated in the Middle East

    02/23/2010 5:26:03 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies · 411+ views
    Discovery News ^ | Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | Jennifer Viegas
    Small dogs the world over can all trace their ancestry back to the Middle East, where the first diminutive canines emerged more than 12,000 years ago. A new study, which appears in BMC Biology, focused on a single gene responsible for size in dogs. Researchers found that the version of the gene IGF1 that is a major determinant of small size in dogs probably originated as a result of domestication of the Middle Eastern gray wolf, which also happens to be smaller than many other wolves. In terms of which came first, big dogs or small dogs, the answer is...
  • Humans Took 1000 Years To Tame Wild Plants

    04/13/2004 4:39:44 PM PDT · by blam · 50 replies · 613+ views
    ABC.Net ^ | 4-13-2004 | Anna Salleh
    Humans took 1000 years to tame wild plants Anna Salleh ABC Science Online Tuesday, 13 April 2004 The Dead Sea Plain dig in Jordan. The base of a curved stone wall can be seen in front of the researcher (Image: P Edwards) Remnants of ancient barley, wheat, figs and pistachios nearly 10,000 years old are helping to solve the mystery about how and when nomadic hunter-gatherers became sedentary farmers. A team led by Australian archaeologist Dr Phillip Edwards of Melbourne's La Trobe University said its findings in the Middle East suggested humans went through a 1000-year phase of cultivating wild...
  • Dog genome sequence and analysis published in "Nature"

    12/08/2005 4:23:38 AM PST · by PatrickHenry · 25 replies · 652+ views
    EurekAlert (AAAS) ^ | 07 December 2005 | Staff
    Analysis unlocks genetic variation among dog breeds; evolutionary conservation with human reveals regulatory controls of key genes.An international research team led by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard announced today the completion of a high-quality genome sequence of the domestic dog, together with a catalog of 2.5 million specific genetic differences across several dog breeds. Published in the December 8 issue of Nature, the dog research sheds light on both the genetic similarities between dogs and humans and the genetic differences between dog breeds. Comparison of the dog and human DNA reveals key secrets about the regulation...
  • Only 40 Genes Separate Your Pet Dog From A Wolf

    11/21/2005 6:18:45 PM PST · by blam · 77 replies · 1,296+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 11-22-2005 | Roger Highfield
    Only 40 genes separate your pet dog from a wolf By Roger Highfield, Science Editor (Filed: 22/11/2005) The difference between an obedient, friendly dog and a big bad wolf could be down to as few as 40 genes, according to a study into tameness. The research also found that to adapt to a life on the farm or in the home takes many more changes in gene activity than that required to love humans. A Swedish team compared two groups of farm-raised silver foxes in Siberia, one where for 40 generations the foxes have been selected for their friendly nature,...
  • Dogs Decoded

    08/03/2011 6:56:46 AM PDT · by Immerito · 60 replies
    PBS ^ | November 9, 2010 | NOVA
    Dogs Decoded PBS Airdate: November 9, 2010 NARRATOR: We are inseparable. WOMAN 1 (Chocolate Lab Owner): We're best friends. DR. BRIAN HARE (Duke University): Anywhere you find humans you will almost certainly find dogs. NARRATOR: And they are smarter than we ever imagined. Astonishing new research is revealing that dogs are far more than merely tamed wild animals. PROFESSOR DANIEL MILLS (University of Lincoln, England): What makes our relationships so special is the dog's ability to be able to read our emotions so effectively. NARRATOR: Have they evolved a new kind of intelligence? DR. JULIANE KAMINSKI (Max Planck Institute, Germany):...
  • When People Fled Hyenas

    11/20/2002 6:43:45 PM PST · by VadeRetro · 52 replies · 1,373+ views
    ABC News ^ | By Lee Dye
    When People Fled Hyenas By Lee Dye Special to ABCNEWS.com Nov. 20 — Deep inside a cave in Siberia's Altai Mountains, Christy Turner and his Russian colleagues may have found an answer to a question that has hounded him for more than three decades. As a young anthropologist, Turner spent time in Alaska's Aleutian Islands in the 1970s, working at several archaeological sites and occasionally gazing westward toward Siberia. "I thought, 'That's the place that Native Americans came from,' " he says now from his laboratory at Arizona State University in Tempe. But why, he wondered then as he still...
  • Old dog, new tricks: Study IDs 9,400-year-old mutt

    01/19/2011 5:59:52 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 58 replies
    palmbeachpost ^ | Jan. 19, 2011 | CLARKE CANFIELD
    PORTLAND, Maine — Nearly 10,000 years ago, man's best friend provided protection and companionship — and an occasional meal. That's what researchers are saying after finding a bone fragment from what they are calling the earliest confirmed domesticated dog in the Americas. University of Maine graduate student Samuel Belknap III came across the fragment while analyzing a dried-out sample of human waste unearthed in southwest Texas in the 1970s. A carbon-dating test put the age of the bone at 9,400 years, and a DNA analysis confirmed it came from a dog — not a wolf, coyote or fox, Belknap said....
  • Kibble for Thought: Dog diversity prompts new evolution theory

    12/21/2004 8:45:42 AM PST · by PatrickHenry · 264 replies · 3,390+ views
    Science News ^ | 18 December 2004 | Christen Brownlee
    The wide range of variety in domesticated dogs — from the petite Chihuahua to the monstrous mastiff — has powered a new view of what drives evolution. Scientists have long known that the evolutionary changes that alter a species' appearance or create new species frequently occur in rapid bursts. One widely accepted theory holds that any evolutionary change results from a random switch of a single genetic unit within DNA. These single-point mutations occur in about 1 out of every 100 million DNA sites each generation. This frequency is too low to cause rapid evolutionary change, assert John W. Fondon...
  • Dogs descended from wolf pack on Yangtze river

    09/04/2009 2:58:00 AM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies · 1,533+ views
    Telegraph ^ | Sep 2, 2009 | Unknown
    Today's dogs are all descended from a pack of wolves tamed 16,000 years ago on the shores of the Yangtze river, according to new research. It was previously known that the birthplace of the dog was eastern Asia but historians were not able to be more precise than that. However, now researchers have made a number of new discoveries about the history of man's best friend - including that the dog appeared about 16,000 years ago south of the Yangtze river in China. It has also been discovered that even though the dog has a single geographical origin it descends...
  • Cats' Family Tree Rooted In Fertile Crescent, Study Confirms

    02/01/2008 2:55:53 PM PST · by blam · 27 replies · 130+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 2-1-2008 | University of California - Davis.
    Cats' Family Tree Rooted In Fertile Crescent, Study ConfirmsCats, with their penchant for hunting mice, rats and other rodents, became useful companions as people domesticated, grew and stored wild grains and grasses. Eventually, cats also became pets but were never fully domesticated. Even today, most domestic cats remain self-sufficient, if necessary, and continue to be efficient hunters, even when provided with food. (Credit: Michele Hogan) ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2008) — The Fertile Crescent of the Middle East has long been identified as a "cradle of civilization" for humans. In a new genetic study, researchers at the University of California, Davis,...
  • How did the wolf become dog ?

    08/05/2012 10:18:13 AM PDT · by djone · 31 replies
    salon.com ^ | Mark Derr
    Derr acknowledges that the story of the dog’s emergence (as distinct from its evolutionary forebear, the wolf) cannot be “neatly distilled.” Different estimates place the first appearance of dog-like creatures anywhere from 12,000 to 135,000 years ago. But Derr argues that the dog itself was an “evolutionary inevitability.” He suggests that dogs and humans — similar animals who “simply took to traveling with each other” tens of thousands of years ago, “and never stopped” —
  • Dogs (not chimps) most like humans

    03/26/2009 3:47:12 PM PDT · by decimon · 53 replies · 3,110+ views
    Discovery ^ | March. 26, 2009 | Jennifer Viegas
    Man's best friend serves as model for understanding human social behaviorChimpanzees share many of our genes, but dogs have lived with us for so long and undergone so much domestication that they are now serving as a model for understanding human social behavior, according to a new paper.
  • A mystery in black and white: Domesticated animals look - and act - differently ...

    01/29/2003 8:38:42 AM PST · by Prolixus · 39 replies · 961+ views
    The Boston Globe ^ | 1/28/2003 | Cynthia Mills
    <p>Domesticated animals look - and act - differently from than their wild counterparts. Why?</p> <p>The experiment was derived out of a discussion student Brian Hare had with his adviser, Michael Tomasello, an expert in primate behavior at Emory University. They were talking about how bad chimpanzees were at understanding human social cues. Despite being the heavyweights of animal intelligence, chimps were insensitive to what seemed to be obvious hints: They failed to pick up a cup hiding food even when the experimenter stared at it, pointed to it, and even tapped it. Tomasello wanted to talk about what this meant about the limits of nonhuman intelligence. Hare, a pet owner, had a down-to-Earth response: ''My dogs can do this.''</p>
  • Scientists believe cats 'sort of domesticated themselves'

    06/29/2007 8:02:15 AM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 185 replies · 6,883+ views
    SignOnSanDiego.com ^ | June 29, 2007 | THE WASHINGTON POST
    Scientists believe cats 'sort of domesticated themselves' THE WASHINGTON POST June 29, 2007 WASHINGTON – Your hunch is correct. Your cat decided to live with you, not the other way around. The sad truth is, it may not be a final decision. But don't take this feline diffidence personally. It runs in the family. And it goes back a long way – about 12,000 years, actually. Those are among the inescapable conclusions of a genetic study of the origins of the domestic cat, being published today in the journal Science. The findings, drawn from the analysis of nearly a thousand...
  • Dogs First Tamed in China -- To Be Food? [SURPRISE!]

    09/08/2009 12:30:02 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 11 replies · 790+ views
    nationalgeographic ^ | September 4, 2009 | John Roach
    Wolves were domesticated no more than 16,300 years ago in southern China, a new genetic analysis suggests—and it's possible the canines were tamed to be livestock, not pets, the study author speculates. "In this region, even today, eating dog is a big cultural thing," noted study co-author Peter Savolainen, a biologist at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. "And you can also see in the historical records as far back as you can go that eating dogs has been very common" in East Asia. "Therefore, you have to think of the possibility that this was one of the...
  • The Dixie Dingo

    11/30/2001 1:40:40 PM PST · by blam · 124 replies · 15,672+ views
    Carolinadog.org ^ | U of Carolina
    "The Dixie Dingo" "The Native American Dog" "The American Dingo" " Southern Aboriginal Dog" "The Indian's Dog" Still living Wild in the bottom land swamps and forests of the Southeastern United States. Genetic (mitochondrial DNA) testing being performed at the University of South Carolina, College of Science and Mathematics, indicates that these dogs, related to the earliest domesticated dogs, are the remnant descendants of the feral pariah canids who came across the Bering land mass 8,000 to 11,000 years ago as hunting companions to the ancestors of the Native Americans. However, their future in the wild looks bleak. Loss ...
  • Dogs automatically imitate people

    07/28/2010 10:22:29 AM PDT · by Nachum · 26 replies · 9+ views
    msnbc ^ | 7/28/10 | Jennifer Viegas
    Some dogs may look like their owners, but all dogs imitate their human companions If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, dogs often shower us with praise. New research has just determined dogs automatically imitate us, even when it is not in their best interest to do so. The study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B, provides the first evidence that dogs copy at least some of our body movements and behaviors in ways that are spontaneous and voluntary.
  • CANINE EVOLUTION: A Shaggy Dog History

    11/21/2002 6:36:35 PM PST · by Lessismore · 4 replies · 1,013+ views
    Science Magazine | 2002-11-21 | Elizabeth Pennisi
    Biologists chase down pooches' genetic and social past A Shaggy Dog History Two-kilogram teacup poodles; 90-kg mastiffs; slender greyhounds; squat English bulldogs: For a single species, canines come in a vast array of shapes and sizes. Even more remarkably, they all come from the same stock. Many millennia ago, humans took in a few primitive wolves and made them man's best friend. Or so the story goes. For centuries, researchers have doggedly pursued the evolutionary and social history of canines, with mixed success. Only subtle differences distinguish dogs from coyotes, jackals, and other canids, making family trees difficult to construct...
  • Animal Connection: New Hypothesis for Human Evolution and Human Nature

    07/23/2010 3:11:21 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies · 1+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | July 20, 2010 | adapted from Penn State material written by Kevin Stacey
    It's no secret to any dog-lover or cat-lover that humans have a special connection with animals.... paleoanthropologist Pat Shipman of Penn State University argues that this human-animal connection goes well beyond simple affection. Shipman proposes that the interdependency of ancestral humans with other animal species... played a crucial and beneficial role in human evolution over the last 2.6 million years... "Having sharp tools transformed wimpy human ancestors into effective predators who left many cut marks on the fossilized bones of their prey," Shipman said. Becoming a predator also put our ancestors into direct competition with other carnivores for carcasses and...
  • NEW RESEARCH ON HOW DOGS AND CATS BECAME MAN'S BEST FRIENDS

    06/07/2009 2:50:13 AM PDT · by Scanian · 46 replies · 1,397+ views
    NY Post ^ | June 6, 2009 | Maureen Callahan
    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...