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  #11  
Old 02-25-2010, 10:21 AM
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I agree that there are likely more than one domestication point for dogs. What do you guys think about northern breeds? Is it likely they are indeed descended from wolves whereas other breeds are not?

ETA: THe Ibizan Hound/Pharaoh hound thing drives me crazy too, lol. Pharaoh hounds are only about 200 years old, not the dogs in the tombs.
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2010, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
This has been my contention for some time, but anytime I suggest that dogs may well not be directly descended from wolves at all, but from a smaller dog-like animal, everyone thinks I'm crazy. I always thought this too, was interesting food for thought.... albeit an unpopular theory among the dogs are wolves crowd. lol.

Darren Naish: Tetrapod Zoology: Controversial origins of the domestic dog
An AWESOME post! My head is just churning with ideas as this-and-that information falls out of one pattern and clicks into another. Thanks so much, Doberlov
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2010, 04:31 PM
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very interesting article and topic! good find! thanks for sharing!
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2010, 08:06 PM
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Mpp...did you read that whole article from Darrin Naish? I think he brings in some fantastically interesting points. He refers a lot to Janice Koler-Matznick's research. I haven't dug into her work yet, but am going to. There must be some good info there, it sounds like. I think this research is important because dogs need to be seen as the unique animals they are and not constantly viewed as watered down wolves. They share some similarities, but imo....they are more different than similar. There probably was more than one domestication event, sending different branches down different paths.

It is interesting how we see some theories and think we have it all figured out. LOL. Then along comes another brilliant theory...new studies etc.
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Last edited by Doberluv; 02-25-2010 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:41 PM
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Here's another interesting article...more to boggle the mind:

Small Dogs Evolved in Middle East - ScienceNOW

Quote:
Mexico may claim the Chihuahua, and Tibet the shih tzu. But a new genetic study indicates that all small dogs have their origins in the Middle East.

The origin of the domestic dog is a hot topic in evolutionary biology. Scientists agree that today's Fidos came from the domestication of the gray wolf, but they are at odds over where this took place. Previous genetic studies focusing on mitochondrial DNA***8212;inherited only from the mother***8212;have suggested that modern domestic dogs are descended from animals that lived in East Asia between 5000 and 16,000 years ago. But archaeological excavations in Europe and the Middle East have found remains of what appear to be domestic dogs dating back as far as 31,000 years.

Now, a team led by evolutionary geneticist Melissa Gray of the University of California, Los Angeles, has examined nuclear DNA to fill in a crucial piece of the puzzle. The researchers took samples of blood, tissue, or saliva from three populations: large domestic dogs (those weighing more than 30 kilograms), small dogs (weighing less than 9 kilograms), and wild wolves, foxes, and coyotes from around the world. They then looked at a gene called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). All canines, wild or domestic, have some form of this gene***8212;precisely which form is strongly associated with the size of an animal's skeleton.

The team found that the version of IGF1 carried by all small dogs is found in very few large dogs and no wild canines. But a very similar form of the gene is found in gray wolves from the Middle East. That means that this region is probably the birthplace of the common ancestor of all the world's small dogs. Because they all carry the same variant, it is extremely unlikely that small body size evolved more than once. And for the gene to have had time to spread all over the world, it must have evolved shortly after dogs were first domesticated.

Gray emphasizes that the study, published today in BMC Biology, doesn***8217;t necessarily mean that dogs were first domesticated in the Middle East. But it's a "strong indication" that that region ***8220;has played a significant role in the early history of domestic dogs.***8221; The authors note that archaeologists have found remains of small dogs dating to 12,000 years ago in the area. There are older sites in Europe and Russia, but they contain larger dogs. She says humans living in small agricultural communities may have deliberately bred small dogs because they ate less and could be kept in small spaces.

Adam Boyko, a geneticist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who specializes in the evolution of the domestic dog, is impressed by the study. ***8220;This really pokes a hole in the argument of this relatively simple domestication in East Asia, ... which is what people have been arguing based on mitochondrial DNA,***8221; he says.

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  #16  
Old 02-25-2010, 09:26 PM
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The team found that the version of IGF1 carried by all small dogs is found in very few large dogs and no wild canines. But a very similar form of the gene is found in gray wolves from the Middle East.


Do you think those might be the Ethiopian wolves the article spoke about?

Also, I noticed that the Science Now article repeats that "Scientists agree that today's Fidos came from the domestication of the gray wolf." Well, obviously, NOT all scientists DO agree with this. I really, really was impressed with Naish's hypothesis of the long-vanished canid ancestor. Dogs really don't act all that much like wolves in many areas of their lives. Feral/pariah dog populations don't revert to wolf-like body types or behaviors, as one would expect.

I'll have to read the article again, more calmly, to really absorb what he had to say. An excellent post, Doberluv!
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2010, 09:38 PM
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Yes, many times you see things written like that...that "scientists agree" when they don't...not about a lot of things. It IS a very controversial subject and nothing is proven one way or the other....as far as I can gather at any rate. I need to re-read these articles too when I can spend more time, as I forget what I just read half the time. Yes, I think Naish has some compelling arguments there. Now, I've read that one several times. LOL. Have you read Coppinger's book? That's fascinating too and one significant part of their theory is argued by Naish. (the part about such a large animal getting enough garbage from humans at that time) That would make a huge difference to the whole story.
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