Dogs (Canis familiaris): the Origin.

english, Paleolithic period, Wolf

In this post we talk about the origins of dog domestication. The most widely accepted current offspring of truest friend of Human Being is the gray wolf (Canis lupus), but how, when, where and why of their domestication is unknown.

It is believed that he separation between the wolf and the dog happened 100.000 years ago in different species, but was not until the Paleolithic period, about 30.000 years ago, when their domestication began. Aechaeological evidence are not enough at the momentbut the oldest fossils dated correspond to Goyet cave from Belgium (36.000 BC) and Razboinchya, a cave in the Siberian Altai mountains (33.000 BC).

The most notable differential characteristics of these dogs with a wolf are smaller skulls tham their ancestors  and shorter snout, this last unmistakable of domestication.

After several studies by P. Savolainen and this collagues compared the mitochondrial DNA of various breeds of dogs around the woeld, located domestication in East Asia, particularly south of the Yangtze River in China, contrary to what you thought about your domestication in Central Asia or Western Europe.

The evolution of the dog runs parallel of the human being, develop through mutual and beneficial relationship sharing space and food resources. There are two theories on how it began to domesticate dogs. A possibily explains that a group of hunters took several wolf pups to tame observed for their skills on the guard and hunting; and the other, more popular, explains the birth of agriculture and the development of settlements caused animals, sometimes with scavenger behavior have another chance to perception and thus began the domestication. New evidence corroborate this last: Erik Axelsson at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, has discovered that during the domestication of dogs selection acted on the genes involved in three stages of digestion of starch, mutating to facilitate the passage of totally carnivors diet to suit a centered starch diet. This meant that changes were made in the brain and nercous system, reducing, probably aggressive wolves and engaging in other communication with human, what made them become a Dogs.

I leave you with this gourgeous National Geographic documentary in wich over wolfs became dogs. And Man created Dog


– Savolainen, P. et al. Genetic evidence for an East Asian origin of domestic dogs. Science298, 1610 – 1613.


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