Keyword: animalhusbandry

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  • Manure used by Europe's first farmers 8,000 years ago

    07/16/2013 1:24:39 PM PDT · by Renfield · 20 replies
    A new study says Europe's first farmers used far more sophisticated practices than was previously thought. A research team led by the University of Oxford has found that Neolithic farmers manured and watered their crops as early as 6,000 BC. It had always been assumed that manure wasn't used as a fertiliser until Iron Age and Roman times. However, this new research shows that enriched levels of nitrogen-15, a stable isotope abundant in manure, have been found in the charred cereal grains and pulse seeds taken from 13 Neolithic sites around Europe. The findings are published in the early edition...
  • Worm poo's window into past climate

    07/10/2013 2:10:41 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies
    BBC News ^ | 7/10/13 | Simon Redfern
    Earthworm poo can be used to measure past temperatures, providing a window into the ancient climate. A study shows that the chemistry of small balls of chalky crystals secreted into soil by the worms varies with temperature. A UK team said the granules could be compared with other climatic "proxies", such as ice cores and deep sea sediments. Details appear in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Scientists from the universities of Reading and York, report that the calcium carbonate (calcite) nodules dug up from archaeological sites give a unique measure of the ancient local temperatures. Because the ratios of...
  • Strange Carvings Discovered In Amazon Jungle Using Google Earth

    06/16/2010 3:39:07 AM PDT · by Fred Nerks · 34 replies · 1,315+ views
    http://www.treasurehuntingnews.com/archaeology/strange-carvings-discovered-in-amazon-jungle-using-go | January 2, 2010 | in Archaeology, Research
    Signs of what could be a previously unknown ancient civilisation are emerging from beneath the felled trees of the Amazon. Some 260 giant avenues, ditches and enclosures have been spotted from the air in a region straddling Brazil’s border with Bolivia. The traditional view is that before the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese in the 15th century there were no complex societies in the Amazon basin – in contrast to the Andes further west where the Incas built their cities. Now deforestation, increased air travel and google Earth are telling a different story. “It’s never-ending,” says Denise Schaan of...
  • Agriculture arose in many parts of the Fertile Crescent at once

    07/06/2013 10:25:24 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    L A Times ^ | July 5, 2013, 6:53 p.m. | Melissa Pandika
    For decades, archaeologists believed agriculture took root in a part of the Fertile Crescent called the Levant, which includes present-day Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, as well as parts of Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other countries. From there, it was thought to have spread eastward to present-day Iran. “The eastern Fertile Crescent has been treated as backwater,” said Melinda Zeder, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Institute’s Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, who was not involved in the study. Now, the understanding that people in the Zagros grew and ground cereal grains as early as their counterparts in the...
  • Stone Age, Canaanite, Arrowheads and Blades Found in Judean Foothills

    07/04/2013 1:22:07 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Jewish Press ^ | June 30th, 2013 | Staff
    Archaeological excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority done prior to laying down a sewer line turned up evidence of human habitation 9,000 years ago... in the Judean foothills moshav (cooperative village) of Eshta'ol... According to Benjamin Storchen, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "the ancient findings we unveiled at the site indicate that there was a flourishing agricultural settlement in this place, and it lasted for as long as 4,000 years." The archaeological artifacts discovered in the excavation site indicate that the first settlers arrived here about 9,000 years ago. This period is called by archaeologists...
  • First Farmers Were Also Inbred

    06/21/2013 7:02:40 AM PDT · by Renfield · 24 replies
    Science Magazine ^ | 6-19-2013 | Michael Balter
    Humans have been mating with their relatives for at least 10,000 years. That's the conclusion of a new study, which finds the earliest known evidence of deliberate inbreeding—including missing teeth—among farmers who lived in what is today southern Jordan. Although inbreeding over long periods can lead to a rise in genetic defects, the team concludes that it may have helped prehistoric peoples make the transition from hunting and gathering to village life. Researchers agree that the best evidence for family ties is DNA. For example, ancient DNA from a group of Neandertal skeletons found in a Spanish cave showed that...
  • A Book Review and Summary of John C. Sanfor's Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome

    06/10/2013 8:02:28 AM PDT · by kimtom · 7 replies
    www.apologeticspress.org ^ | june 1, 2013 | Joe Deweese, Ph.D.
    Dr. John Sanford is a plant geneticist and inventor who conducted research at Cornell University for more than 25 years. He is best known for significant contributions to the field of transgenic crops, including the invention of the biolistic process (“gene gun”). Like many in his profession, he was fully invested in what he terms the “Primary Axiom” of modern science, namely that “man is merely the product of random mutations plus natural selection” (Sanford, 2008, p. v, italics in orig.). He argues that this cornerstone of modern Darwinism is almost universally accepted and rarely, if ever, questioned. In Genetic...
  • Predecessor of Cows, The Aurochs, Were Still Living In The Netherlands Around AD 600

    12/21/2008 10:02:49 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 56 replies · 4,518+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | Monday, December 15, 2008 | University of Groningen
    Archaeological researchers at the University of Groningen have discovered that the aurochs, the predecessor of our present-day cow, lived in the Netherlands for longer than originally assumed. Remains of bones recently retrieved from a horn core found in Holwerd (Friesland, Netherlands), show that the aurochs became extinct in around AD 600 and not in the fourth century. The last aurochs died in Poland in 1627... The aurochs was much larger than the common cows we know today, with aurochs bulls measuring between 160 and 180 cm at the withers, and aurochs cows between 140 and 150 cm. The cattle bred...
  • How Wild Asses Became Donkeys Of The Pharaohs

    03/10/2008 4:55:47 PM PDT · by blam · 24 replies · 737+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3-10-2008 | Andy Coghlan
    How wild asses became donkeys of the pharaohs 21:00 10 March 2008 NewScientist.com news service Andy Coghlan The ancient Egyptian state was built on the backs of tamed wild asses. Ten skeletons excavated from burial sites of the first Egyptian kings are the best evidence yet that modern-day donkeys emerged through domestication of African wild asses. The 5000-year-old bones also provide the earliest indications that asses were used for transport. The skeletons suggest that the smaller frames of today's donkeys hadn't yet evolved. Instead, the bones resemble those of modern-day Nubian and Somali wild asses, which are much larger than...
  • Ancient Greek City Uncovered in Russia [Temple of Demeter]

    05/23/2011 9:09:16 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies · 1+ views
    EU Greek Reporter ^ | May 8, 2011 | Tania Mourtzila
    What is considered to be a unique discovery has been made in Taman, South Russia, at the Black Sea. The ruins of an ancient Greek city, dated around the 6th century BC, came to light. Archeologists are stunned both by the number of the findingsand the condition they were found in. The excavations are proceeding with extreme caution, in order to avoid damaging the city's ancient fortress. According to historians, it is assumed that the ruins are the temple of Dimitra, the ancient goddess of fertility and agriculture, while they were able to determine the very spot of the altar....
  • The Origins of Strawberries, in Cherokee Myth

    06/03/2013 3:50:17 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 20 replies
    Star Tribune ^ | May 29, 2013 | Jo Marshall
    According to one legend, the berry has been a force of nature since the beginning of time.The Cherokees have a creation myth that connects human harmony and the configuration of heaven and Earth to the sight of a single strawberry. The cosmic details are murky. But the culinary message is clear. Abbreviated, it goes like this: First Man and First Woman (think Cherokee Adam and Eve) have a blowout argument, after which First Woman proclaims: “You are lazy and pay no attention to me. I am going to find another place to live.” With that, she harrumphs off with that...
  • Viking barley in Greenland

    02/11/2012 7:20:47 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 59 replies
    ScienceNordic via Past Horizons ^ | Monday, February 6, 2012 | Sybille Hildebrandt, tr by Michael de Laine
    The Vikings are both famous and notorious for their liking of beer and mead and archaeologists have discussed for years whether Eric the Red (ca 950-1010) and his followers had to make do without the golden drink when they settled in Greenland around the year 1,000: The climate was mild when they landed, but was it warm enough for growing barley? Researchers from the National Museum in Copenhagen say the answer to the question is 'yes'. In a unique find, they uncovered tiny fragments of charred barley grains in a Viking midden on Greenland. The find is final proof that...
  • World's oldest marijuana stash totally busted

    05/30/2013 10:47:41 AM PDT · by posterchild · 49 replies
    Discovery news via NBC ^ | Jennifer Viegas
    Nearly two pounds of still-green plant material found in a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi Desert has just been identified as the world's oldest marijuana stash, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany. A barrage of tests proves the marijuana possessed potent psychoactive properties and casts doubt on the theory that the ancients only grew the plant for hemp in order to make clothing, rope and other objects. They apparently were getting high too.
  • Long Live The Pig!

    05/29/2013 5:01:34 PM PDT · by Starman417 · 125 replies
    Flopping Aces ^ | 05-29-13 | Dave The Sage
    Domesticated swine and Western Civilization go back a long way together. The domestic pig was being raised in Europe by about 1500 BC. Rome improved pig breeding and spread them throughout their empire. The early Christians increasingly abandoned the Jewish ban on the eating of pork by about 50 AD and it’s been the celebrated ‘other white meat’ ever since. Pigs and the discovery of the New World went hand in hand. Christopher Columbus took eight pigs on his voyage to Cuba in 1493 at Queen Isabella’s insistence. Hernando de Soto brought America’s first thirteen pigs to Tampa Bay, Fla.,...
  • Prehistoric Dog Lovers Liked Seafood, Jewelry, Spirituality

    05/25/2013 6:39:45 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | Jennifer Viegas
    A pointer named “Major” was identified this week as the first known example of a modern dog. A description of the dog was found in a now-obscure 1865 edition of a Victorian journal called The Field. It marks the earliest reported dog breed based on physical form and pedigree. “The invention of ‘breed,’ physically and imaginatively, still shapes how we see and think about dogs today,” Michael Worboys, Director of the University of Manchester’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, told Discovery News. Worboys and his team found the information concerning “Major” while preparing a new museum...
  • Researchers Have Finally Solved The Mystery Of The Irish Potato Famine

    05/24/2013 9:45:13 AM PDT · by blam · 31 replies
    http://www.livescience.com ^ | 5-24-2013 | Denise Chow
    Researchers Have Finally Solved The Mystery Of The Irish Potato Famine Denise Chow, LiveScience May 24, 2013, 12:03 PM The Irish potato famine that caused mass starvation and approximately 1 million deaths in the mid-19th century was triggered by a newly identified strain of potato blight that has been christened "HERB-1," according to a new study. An international team of molecular biologists studied the historical spread of Phytophthora infestans, a funguslike organism that devastated potato crops and led to the famine in Ireland. The precise strain of the pathogen that caused the devastating outbreak, which lasted from 1845 to 1852,...
  • Earliest Evidence of Human Hunting Found

    05/14/2013 10:55:11 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 38 replies
    LiveScience ^ | May 13, 2013 | Tia Ghose
    Archaeologists have unearthed what could be the earliest evidence of ancient human ancestors hunting and scavenging meat. Animal bones and thousands of stone tools used by ancient hominins suggest that early human ancestors were butchering and scavenging animals at least 2 million years ago.
  • Beer's taste triggers dopamine release in brain

    04/20/2013 5:34:09 PM PDT · by Jyotishi · 55 replies
    DNA ^ | Tuesday, Apri 16, 2013 | ANI
    The taste of beer, without any effect from alcohol itself, can trigger dopamine release in the brain that is associated with drinking and other drugs of abuse, researchers have claimed. Using positron emission tomography (PET), the researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine tested 49 men with two scans, one in which they tasted beer, and the second in which they tasted Gatorade. The researchers were looking for evidence of increased levels of dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter that has long been associated with alcohol and other drugs of abuse. The scans showed significantly more dopamine activity following the taste of...
  • Lost and found, the first find of an early human artwork

    03/21/2013 2:31:27 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 28 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 03-21-2013 | Provided by Natural History Museum
    This reindeer antler from Neschers in France is engraved with a stylised horse. It was created by early humans and found between 1830 and 1848. A 14,000-year-old engraved reindeer antler is possibly the first piece of early human art ever found. The specimen was uncovered in the 1800s and has been in the vast collections of the Natural History Museum. Its scientific importance, and clues as to how it was made are only now being revealed, scientists report today. Natural History Museum scientists have pieced together the antler's history. It was found between 1830 and 1848 in Neschers, France, by...
  • Scientists discover genetic key to efficient crops

    01/27/2013 7:02:13 PM PST · by Sir Napsalot · 9 replies
    Cornell Univ Chronicles Online ^ | 1-23-2013 | Krishna Ramanujan
    With projections of 9.5 billion people by 2050, humankind faces the challenge of feeding modern diets to additional mouths while using the same amounts of water, fertilizer and arable land as today. Cornell researchers have taken a leap toward meeting those needs by discovering a gene that could lead to new varieties of staple crops with 50 percent higher yields. The gene, called Scarecrow, is the first discovered to control a special leaf structure, known as Kranz anatomy, which leads to more efficient photosynthesis. Plants photosynthesize using one of two methods: C3, a less efficient, ancient method found in most...
  • Should You Get a Goat?

    03/05/2013 11:57:33 AM PST · by nickcarraway · 58 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | Monday, March 4, 2013 | Jennie P. Grant
    "The prudent man does not make the goat his gardener," says an old Hungarian proverb. But, as I do not live my life according to old Hungarian proverbs, six years ago I added a goat paddock and shed to the rear of my garden and brought home two small dairy goats. The idea took hold of me rather suddenly while I was visiting an acquaintance in Nevada City. She kept goats, and I got to milk one and taste its fresh milk. It tasted ... good! Surprised? I was too. But I learned that goat milk from the store often...
  • Bunnies implicated in the demise of Neanderthals

    03/04/2013 11:15:00 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 55 replies
    new scientist ^ | 18:10 01 March 2013 by | Sara Reardon
    Now, John Fa of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Trinity, Jersey, says Neanderthals eventually bit the dust because they were unable to adapt their hunting to small animals like rabbits. Fa and his colleagues counted up the skeletons of animals found in three excavation sites in Spain and southern France. Up until 30,000 years ago, the remains of large animals such as deer were abundant in caves. But around that time, coinciding with the disappearance of Neanderthals, rabbit remains became more prevalent. The authors postulate that humans were more successful at switching to catching and eating rabbits. It's not...
  • Ancient Humans Brought Bottle Gourds To The Americas From Asia

    12/13/2005 11:12:17 AM PST · by blam · 38 replies · 902+ views
    Harvard University/Eureka Alert ^ | 12-13-2005 | Steve Brandt
    Contact: Steve Bradt steve_bradt@harvard.edu 617-496-8070 Harvard University Ancient humans brought bottle gourds to the Americas from AsiaPlants widely used as containers arrived, already domesticated, some 10,000 years ago CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 13, 2005 -- Thick-skinned bottle gourds widely used as containers by prehistoric peoples were likely brought to the Americas some 10,000 years ago by individuals who arrived from Asia, according to a new genetic comparison of modern bottle gourds with gourds found at archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere. The finding solves a longstanding archaeological enigma by explaining how a domesticated variant of a species native to Africa ended...
  • Genetic Marker Tells Squash Domestication Story

    01/10/2002 5:23:02 AM PST · by blam · 2 replies · 483+ views
    Eureka Alert ^ | 01-07-2002 | Oris Sanjur
    Contact: Oris Sanjur sanjuro@naos.si.edu 202-786-2094 x8824 Smithsonian Institution Genetic marker tells squash domestication story In the January 8 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), The Cucurbit Network and the University of Puerto Rico establish mitochondrial DNA analysis as a powerful tool for understanding relationships among flowering plants. A comparison of mtDNA from cultivated squash, pumpkins, gourds and their wild ancestors strongly supports hypotheses based on archeological and ethnobotanical evidence for six, independent domestication events in the New World. Even Oris Sanjur, who conducted the genetic analysis was "surprised by the resolution" ...
  • Domestication Of The Donkey May Have Taken A Long Time

    03/13/2008 6:36:00 PM PDT · by blam · 32 replies · 842+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 3-13-2008 | Washington University in St. Louis
    Domestication Of The Donkey May Have Taken A Long TimeAn international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought. (Credit: iStockphoto/Andrea Laurita) ScienceDaily (Mar. 13, 2008) — An international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought. Based on a study of 10 donkey...
  • Did Carolina Dogs Arrive With Ancient Americans?

    03/28/2006 11:00:20 AM PST · by RegulatorCountry · 46 replies · 793+ views
    National Geographic ^ | March 11, 2003 | Brian Handwerk
    Humans and dogs enjoy a prehistoric relationship, a longstanding bond with its origins in a time when dogs as we know them evolved from wild animals into our domesticated companions. Now, a canine living in a manner similar to that of dogs from those ancient days may have been discovered in isolated stretches of longleaf pines and cypress swamps in the American Southeast. The Carolina Dog, a familiar-looking animal long known in the rural South as the "yaller dog," may be more than the common mutt that immediately meets the eye. I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., Senior Ecologist at the University...
  • An Asian origin for a 10,000-year-old domesticated plant in the Americas

    12/17/2005 7:56:15 AM PST · by Lessismore · 15 replies · 653+ views
    PNAS ^ | 2005-12-13 | David L. Erickson , Bruce D. Smith , Andrew C. Clarke, Daniel H. Sandweiss, and Noreen Tuross
    New genetic and archaeological approaches have substantially improved our understanding of the transition to agriculture, a major turning point in human history that began 10,000-5,000 years ago with the independent domestication of plants and animals in eight world regions. In the Americas, however, understanding the initial domestication of New World species has long been complicated by the early presence of an African enigma, the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria). Indigenous to Africa, it reached East Asia by 9,000-8,000 before present (B.P.) and had a broad New World distribution by 8,000 B.P. Here we integrate genetic and archaeological approaches to address a...
  • 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 · 119 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...
  • Man's best friend for 30,000 years: Canine skulls discovered in two separate digs reveals...

    01/24/2012 7:04:21 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 | Rob Waugh
    Scientists believe that two 33,000-year-old skulls unearthed in digs in Siberia and Belgium show dogs were domesticated long before any other animal, such as sheep, cows or goats. Researchers from the University of Arizona said the skulls had shorter snouts and wider jaws than undomesticated animals such as wolves, which use their longer snouts and narrower jaws to help them hunt. That suggested the dogs had been kept for protection and companionship by our ancient ancestors -- just as they are today. The researchers think dogs could have been the first species of animals to be domesticated by humans, long...
  • How Did Dogs Acquire a "Guilty Look?"

    09/18/2009 3:06:19 PM PDT · by PJ-Comix · 174 replies · 3,640+ views
    Self | September 18, 2009 | PJ-Comix
    A little while ago I made my wife laugh by doing an impression of a dog acting guilty. After the laughter subsided I started thinking: How does a dog even know how to act guilty? Guilt is not an emotion in any part of the rest animal kingdom except perhaps to a much lesser extent in cats and maybe chimpanzees although I am not sure about the latter due to little contact with chimps. Cats have such a superiority complex that they really don't show much guilt about anything. But dogs go completely overboard in the guilt department. You come...
  • World's Dogs Are Descended From Asian Wolves

    11/21/2002 4:27:05 PM PST · by blam · 78 replies · 1,771+ views
    Ananova ^ | 11-21-2002
    World's dogs are descended from Asian wolves Scientists have found that almost all dogs share a common gene pool after analysing the DNA of hundreds of dogs from Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. They have concluded domesticated dogs originated from wolves in East Asia nearly 15,000 years ago. The animals travelled with humans through Europe and Asia and across the Bering Strait with the first settlers in America. Swedish and Chinese scientists studied the genes of 654 dogs and found a higher genetic diversity among East Asian dogs suggested that people there were the first to domesticate dogs from...