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science

Ancient wolves' willingness to play played huge role in domestication

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Most pups love to play, whether it’s chasing balls, engaging in a game of tug-of-war, or tearing that squeaky toy to smithereens. So it’s no surprise that dogs’ willingness to play with us may have been a key factor in their domestication, and may have guided our subsequent efforts to breed canines for specific functions, according to a new study

“A dog’s willingness to play with us likely has been important to us throughout dog domestication,” says study leader Niclas Kolm, an evolutionary biologist at Stockholm University in Sweden. 

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Once grown up, animals rarely play, simply because they must focus on finding territories, food, and mates. Nor do they often play with animals outside their own kind. But dogs seem to bring out the jovial nature of many species, from humans to turtles to chickens—interactions that are well documented on YouTube. Dogs and horses, which have been domesticated alongside one another on farms for centuries, also play together and share similar behaviors, such as bowing to each other.

 

 

 

Indeed, after analyzing the evolutionary relationships between modern dog breeds, the team found their most common ancestor, an animal akin to a present-day basenji (a type of African herding dog), would have played with people—albeit it with some encouragement.

They also found that herding dogs, such as Hungarian vizslas and Australian shepherds, were, “by far, the most playful,” engaging quickly and actively in games, Kolm says.

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Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/09/ancient-playful-wolves-evolved-domestic-dogs/

Edited by FfFfFfFF
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Dulo Peep

this is so interesting, crazy how we domesticated wolves and then became dogs over time. For example, you can tell some cats still resisting to be 100% domesticated but clearly they are losing the battle. My cats are so smart and some of their traits are so human, it amazes me

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Daylight Jokers

Thank you, ancient wolves. :heart:

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Miel

Ancient animal patterns and their dynamics with other organisms (specifically humans), pre-domestication, is so interesting.

I didn't study evolutionary patterns of mammals, so I eat this kind of sh*t up whenever it's posted LOL

3 points in and ready for more

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PunkTheFunk
1 hour ago, Miel said:

Ancient animal patterns and their dynamics with other organisms (specifically humans), pre-domestication, is so interesting.

I didn't study evolutionary patterns of mammals, so I eat this kind of sh*t up whenever it's posted LOL

I highly recommend this episode of NOVA called "Dog Tales" if you're interested in the topic!

 

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Miel
15 minutes ago, PunkTheFunk said:

I highly recommend this episode of NOVA called "Dog Tales" if you're interested in the topic!

 

I loved NOVA growing up! That, Godzilla, and probably the BTW video is why I work in science now LMAO

Thank you for the rec!

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FfFfFfFF
16 hours ago, Dulo Peep said:

this is so interesting, crazy how we domesticated wolves and then became dogs over time. For example, you can tell some cats still resisting to be 100% domesticated but clearly they are losing the battle. My cats are so smart and some of their traits are so human, it amazes me

It's thought that the process was two-sided and symbiotic. Dogs needed food so they came closer to humans and humans were open to them as well. It's wasn't a job done 100% by humans. 

Cats were indeed domesticated later and you can still feel it in their behaviour (:fatcat:). Similarily there are people domesticating foxes and seeing how this affects their behaviour and appearence. As generations pass, their ears for exemple tend to become floppy and dog-like.

 

14 hours ago, Miel said:

Ancient animal patterns and their dynamics with other organisms (specifically humans), pre-domestication, is so interesting.

I didn't study evolutionary patterns of mammals, so I eat this kind of sh*t up whenever it's posted LOL

I think you could find this video interesting (if you didn't already see it :vegas:).

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