Domestication was a key moment in humanity’s history – the transition from subsistence off of wild hunting and gathering to intentional management of natural resources marks one of the first steps towards modern civilization. There also exists a number of cases where wild wolves have approached people in remote places, attempting to initiate play and to form companionship. [36][40], The study found that three ancient Belgium canids (the 36,000 YBP "Goyet dog" cataloged as Canis species, along with Belgium 30,000 YBP and 26,000 YBP cataloged as Canis lupus) formed an ancient clade that was the most divergent group. A ten-fold increase in the population size occurred after 15,000 YBP, which may be attributable to domestication events and is consistent with the demographic dependence of dogs on the human population. According to the study, dogs were domesticated not once but twice, on opposite ends of the Eurasian continent at least 15,000 years ago. The specimens were genetically related to the 14,000 YBP Bonn-Oberkassel dog from Germany and other early dogs from western and central Europe which all fall within the domestic dog clade C haplotype, indicating that these were all derived from a common ancestor. This fact can be used to study the coevolution of gene function. Dogs suffer from the same common diseases – such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and neurological disorders – as do humans. [88] In addition to demonstrating that domestic phenotypic traits could arise through selection for a behavioral trait, and domestic behavioral traits could arise through the selection for a phenotypic trait, these experiments provided a mechanism to explain how the animal domestication process could have begun without deliberate human forethought and action. This finding mirrors the gene flow of humans from the Levant into Africa during the Neolithic, along with cattle. These burials are exceptions, but not that rare: there are others, but there is also is evidence that fisher-hunters in Baikal consumed dogs and wolves, as their burned and fragmented bones appear in refuse pits. The grey wolf most likely followed the commensal pathway to domestication. This wolf from the Taymyr Peninsula belonged to a population that had diverged from the ancestors of both modern wolves and dogs. [100] Prey capture rates may have increased in comparison to wolves and with it the amount of lipid consumed by the assisting proto-dogs. [8], The oldest dog remains to be found in Africa date 5,900 YBP and were discovered at the Merimde Beni-Salame Neolithic site in the Nile Delta, Egypt. This origin story comes from a new study that compares DNA from dozens of dogs and wolves, including 18 ancient fossils. An expansion of this gene would enable early dogs to exploit a starch-rich diet. [2][74], Even today, the wolves on Ellesmere Island do not fear humans, which is thought to be due to them seeing humans so little, and they will approach humans cautiously, curiously and closely. [36] In 2017, evolutionary biologists reviewed all of the evidence available on dog divergence and supported the specimens from the Altai mountains as being those of dogs from a lineage that is now extinct, and that was derived from a population of small wolves that is also now extinct. … The lion is a much larger and far more dangerous predator than the wolf. In the late 1970s there was renewed interest in the Oberkassel remains and the mandible was re-examined and reclassified as belonging to a domesticated dog. Differing Point of View on Domestication of Dogs The results also showed that all subjects were able to generalize from their previous experience to respond to relatively novel pointing gestures. W… Phylogenetic analysis showed that modern dog mDNA haplotypes resolve into four monophyletic clades designated by researchers as clades A-D.[36][37][38] Clade A included 64% of the modern dogs sampled, and these were recovered as the sister group to a clade containing three fossil pre-Columbian New World dogs, dated between 1,000 and 8,500 YBP, supporting the hypothesis that pre-Columbian New World dogs share ancestry with modern dogs and that they likely arrived with the first humans to the New World. [131] The dog could not have survived during this period without intensive human care. At death, the heads of the dogs had been carefully separated from their bodies by humans, probably for ceremonial reasons. The concept of friendship has ancient origins but it may have been enhanced through the inter-species relationship to give a survival advantage. This implies that in Europe a population of half-Karelian and half-Levantine dogs similar to this one - but not necessarily originating in Sweden - replaced all of the other dog populations. Archaeologist Robert Losey and associates, who conducted this study, suggest that these are indications that Kitoi hunter-gatherers considered that at least these individual dogs were "persons". [61] One such notable wolf was Romeo, a gentle black wolf that formed relationships with the people and dogs of Juneau, Alaska. [4], Humans and wolves both exist in complex social groups. Later, the wolves would evolve into dogs. [41][98], In 2014, a whole genome study of the DNA differences between wolves and dogs found that dogs did not show a reduced fear response but did show greater synaptic plasticity. [138], The oldest fossil of a dog that has been found in Japan dates to 9,500 YBP. Today, the Ju'wasi people of Namibia share their land with prides of lions. The Younger Dryas that occurred 12,900 YBP was a period of intense cold and aridity that put pressure on humans to intensify their foraging strategies. [136], In 2020, the sequencing of ancient dog genomes indicates that the lineage of modern dogs in sub-Sahara Africa shares a single origin from the Levant, where an ancestral specimen was dated to 7,000 YBP. Sheep were devouring the people—“Where there have been many householders and inhabitants,” the English bishop Hugh Latimer lamented, “there is now but a shepherd and his dog.” In light of recent research, these 16th-century enclosures were far less extensive than such strictures imply. The archaeological record shows dog remains dating over 15,000 YBP in western Eurasia, over 12,500 YBP in eastern Eurasia, but none older than 8,000 YBP in Central Asia. This suggests that genetic admixture has occurred between the Pleistocene wolves and the ancestor of these dogs. When, where, and why dogs were domesticated is still a mystery, for the most part. Dogs were domesticated by the lure of an easy meal. [113] In 2009, a study compared the responses to a range of pointing gestures by dogs and human infants. Wolves actively patrol and defend their scent-marked territory, and perhaps humans had their sense of territoriality enhanced by living with wolves. These results can be explained either by a very early presence of dogs in northern Eurasia or by the genetic legacy of the Taimyr wolf being preserved in northern wolf populations until the arrival of dogs into high latitudes. The evolution of the dietary metabolism genes may have helped process the increased lipid content of early dog diets as they scavenged on the remains of carcasses left by hunter-gatherers. Unlike the where and when, researchers generally agree on how and why wolves were domesticated. 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