Evolution And Domestication Of The Canine As A Species


Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend, and for good reason. Dogs as pets have been documented at least as far back as the days of Pompeii, when the bones of a dog sprawled out next to a little kid were discovered in the ruins of the ancient city-state.

We are all aware that dogs are adorable, warm, and cuddly, demanding nothing more than food, drink, shelter, and love in exchange for their undying commitment to their owners. Dogs have earned the right to be considered part of the family. In reality, what family photo would be complete without the presence of the family dog?

Dogs have earned their place in the spotlight among their blind and deaf owners, as well as in local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies, for many years. If you want to avoid being attacked by a drug and bomb detecting dog the next time you fly, be sure to empty your coat pockets of doggy cookies before you board the plane.

The incredible genuine tales that have been pulled from the media below indicate that dogs will never be removed from their position as man’s greatest friend! While it is true that we must do for dogs what they are unable or unwilling to do for themselves, consider the things that dogs have done for us that we were unable or unwilling to do for ourselves.

  • Dogs CAN smell cancer

The Associated Press reported on September 24, 2004, that the first scientific trial to demonstrate what has long been suspected—that dogs can detect cancer—was a success. A dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times greater than a human’s, ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 times more.

The findings of the research were published in the British Medical Journal in 2011. Dogs were shown to be able to detect cancer, according to the research. Dogs have the potential to transmit cancer to humans, but it is still unclear if they can do so successfully. The most exciting aspect of this research is that canines may be able to identify the existence of cancer before high-tech medical testing is performed.

  • Dogs help seniors live longer

In 1999, a research published in the Journal of American Geriatrics came to the conclusion that many people have instinctively and anecdotally known for a long time: seniors who have dogs enjoy longer and more fulfilling lives, both physically and psychologically. Once again, research demonstrates the validity of common sense. Dogs need regular exercise. Physically active seniors with dogs have lower blood pressure and need fewer doctor’s visits; they are also admitted to the hospital less often and stay for a shorter period of time when they are admitted.

Assisted living institutions and nursing homes have made the decision to allow visiting pets or to house a resident pet for the benefit of their residents nearly unanimously. Using the Delta Pet Partner programme, you may bring your pet to nursing homes and hospice institutions. If you have an older parent, you may want to consider giving them the gift of life: a canine friend.

  • Hostage miniature dog escapes and eludes captors

When the dog was eleven years old, it was supposedly taken from its owner’s house in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In January of the next year, a father and daughter pair in Corpus Christie, Texas, saw a vehicle chase after the little dog. The driver got out of the vehicle and started going after the dog on foot, but he was never able to catch up with him.

Finally, the dog’s captor departed the scene, leaving the dog, which was just a tenth the size of its captor, alone and unprotected. When the daughter raced after the dog, the dog happily leaped into her arms and stayed there. Because the dog was wearing identification tags, the father and daughter pair were able to return the canine to its rightful owners.

  • What’s next? Courier dogs?

Actually, that’s old news! In 2001, it was reported that a then five-year-old golden retriever named J.C. delivered its owners’ prescriptions from the pharmacy. The pharmacy was located in the same strip mall as the owners’ shop in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, and J.C. always accompanied the owners to the pharmacy.

The dog began carrying the prescriptions back from these outings. J.C.’s not just any old dog. It was reported that he took instruction well, and when instructed, he ran down to the pharmacy and returned with prescriptions in tow.

Since the beginning of their relationship with humans, dogs have fended for their owners, rescuing them from all sorts of perilous situations. Won’t you consider rescuing a dog from the loneliness of life without an owner?

The Evolution Of Species

Darwin was a British scientist who laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and transformed the way we think about the natural world.

The study of evolution provides a foundation for our understanding of the history of life.

Evolution—which can be defined briefly as descent with modification—provides us with the scientific framework to investigate how species change over time and how various groups of living organisms relate to one another.

The process of natural selection explains one of the ways in which animals evolve; it provides a mechanism by which species can change over time.

Natural selection is an evolutionary mechanism by which traits unsuited for a particular condition are diminished while traits better suited for those conditions become established in a population. Natural selection is founded on a handful of simple concepts—the variation of traits within a population, differential reproduction, and heritability of traits.

Darwin’s concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection became central to modern evolutionary theory, now the unifying concept of the life sciences.

The Natural Diet Of Different Species

  • Herbivores eat only plants – egs cows, buffalo, etc.
  • Omnivores eat both plants and animals – egs baboons, rats, cockroaches, people, etc.
  • Carnivores eat only animals – egs cat family (wild cats, lions, leopards, tigers, domestic cats, etc.) and dog family (wolves, foxes, jackals, wild dogs).
  • Decomposers are microorganisms – which convert complex substances and compounds into simper substances and return the simplified gases to the atmosphere and the rest of organic matter to the earth, thus increasing its fertility. Therefore they clean the earth of all its waste. Eg fungus
  • Detritivores are organisms – which consume the dead and decaying matter, digest them into simpler substances, and then excrete them as organic matter into the soil thus increasing its fertility egs earthworms, millipedes, centipedes ‘detritus’ mean ‘decaying’.

Geographical Origin Of Dogs

According to most experts, all modern dog breeds are posited to have originated from Southeast Asia. There, thousands of years ago, humans interacted with local grey wolf populations and eventually domesticated them.

Humans used artificial selection, or selective breeding for certain traits, to mould dog species for different utilities. Centuries of artificial selection have given us modern dog breeds and continue to create new dog breeds today

The Earliest Association Between Modern Pets And Humans

Domestication (from Latin domesticus) is the process whereby a population of living organisms is changed at the genetic level, through generations of selective breeding, to accentuate traits that ultimately benefit humans.

A usual by-product of domestication is the creation of a dependency on the domesticated organisms so that they lose their ability to live in the wild.

It differs from taming in that a change in the phonotypical expression and genotype of the animal occurs, whereas taming is simply the process by which animals become accustomed to human presence.

In the Convention on Biological Diversity, a domesticated species is defined as a “species in which the evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet their needs.” Therefore, a defining characteristic of domestication is artificial selection by humans.

Humans have brought these populations under their control and care for a wide range of reasons: to produce food or valuable commodities (such as wool, cotton, or silk), for types of work (such as transportation, protection, and warfare), scientific research, or simply to enjoy as companions or ornaments.

The domestication of dogs provides an example:

It is speculated that tamer than average wolves, less wary of humans, selected themselves as dogs over many generations.

These wolves were able to thrive by following humans to scavenge for food near campfires and garbage dumps, which gave them an advantage over more shy individuals.

Eventually, a symbiotic relationship developed between people and these proto-dogs.

The dogs fed on human food scraps, and humans found that dogs could warn them of approaching dangers, help with hunting, act as pets, provide warmth, or supplement their food supply.

As this relationship progressed, humans eventually began to keep these self-tamed wolves and breed from them the types of dogs that we have today.

The Effects Of Domestication On Breed Development

The selection of animals for visible “desirable” traits may make them unfit in other, unseen ways. Eg the English bulldog is very often not able to breed or give birth unassisted.

Prone to breathing problems; some have small windpipes as well. Also poor eyesight, cherry eye, very susceptible to heatstroke in warm weather or hot rooms and cars. Very cold sensitive. Prone to mast cell tumours.

Birth defects are common in some lines. Susceptible to skin infections, and hip and knee problems. Prone to flatulence, especially when fed any other type of food other than their regular dog food. Puppies are often delivered by caesarean section.

Consequences

The consequences for the captive and domesticated animals were reduction in size, piebald colour, shorter faces with smaller and fewer teeth, diminished horns, weak muscle ridges, and less genetic variability.

Poor joint definition, a late fusion of bone structure, hair changes, greater fat accumulation, smaller brains, simplified behavior patterns, extended immaturity, and more pathology are a few of the defects of domestic animals.

All of these changes have been documented through indirect observations of the rat in the 19th century, by archaeological evidence, and confirmed by animal breeders in the 20th century.

Zoonotic Diseases

One side effect of domestication has been zoonotic diseases.

  • Cattle have given humanity various viral poxes, measles, and tuberculosis
  • pigs and ducks have given influenza
  • horses have given the rhinoviruses

Humans share over 60 diseases with dogs!

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