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Wolf to Woof

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The cover story of the January 2002 issue of National Geographic Magazine Wolf to Woof: The Evolution of Dogs. It's an excellent article, with some wonderful photographs. More information about the article is available here.

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For some interesting research on why dogs look like dogs and not like wolves, do a search for "domestic fox". I don't know if this research group in Siberia, who for over 40 years have been doing simple selections of silver fur foxes for "tameness", still exists. In 1999, they had lost all government funding, and were down to 100 animals instead of 700. It was tight spot.

But they discovered the very process of selecting for freindly pets leads to such common traits as shorter muzzle and rounder heads, colour differences, floopy ears and juvenille behavior, without any added selection at all. Chemical differences that made calm foxes more calm than wild foxes also seemed to lead to changes from womb to adulthood in development.

Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake

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an agronomist and Cornwuff from Northern Illinois, interested in sf, homebrewing, photography and running