DOG GERMS..I mean GENES!
Finding the CAN I?, CAN I?, CAN I?, in CANINE.
Scientific evidence reveals that all 400+ breeds of Dog (Canis lupus familiaris) from Chihuahua to Great Dane, originated with the Wolf (Canis lupus). Doggie DNA is a smidge different than that of the Wiley Coyote (originally pronounced Koy-Oh-Tay) and the Sly Fox.
Initial Mitochondrial DNA research has indicated that atleast 15,000 years ago, domesticated Dogs were living 'with' Humans in Asia.
Dogs were the FIRST animal to be domesticated and remain our ‘bestus friendus’ primarily because of
A. their genetic engineering and
B. our insistence on anthropomorphically interpreting their slobbery, submissive, gestures as
Whatever, close enough!
Dogs, like their Lupine ancestors, crave and demand social structure and therefore easily adapt to adopting human packs. They also have some ‘leftover’ behavioral traits that seem impossible to extract, such as turning in a circle to flatten ‘imaginary grass’ before having a nap.
Dogs helped themselves by helping humans to hunt.They added another dimension to the cause because their senses are embarrassingly superior to our own limited abilities. Dogs also became our guardians, herbivore herding associates, and ‘Besties’. This partnership may one day be recognised as being as paradigm shifting as the discovery of Fire, the Wheel, the Remote Control and Caller ID.
A Wolf goes through a series of observable, pre-determined, stages whenever it is hunting such as
(and my addition) ‘Wolf-Down’ .
Man has manipulated these traits to produce specific types by selectively breeding and reinforcing these characteristics.
For instance, even though a great deal of training is involved,
Pointers are biologically pre-dispositioned at Eye Stalk, Retrievers are genetically modified to halt at Grab-Bite.
I had a Dachshund named Fritz
who was seriously stuck at Grab-Bite/Wolf-Down,
and Fritz's menu included everything but rocks.
Because Wolves stay Wolves, the current theory is that those Rascals with the greatest tolerance for hangin’ out around early Man and enjoyed feeding on his scraps, reproduced offspring that were genetically predispositioned to adopt Humans.
Physically they began to morph into a subspecies; their brain power decreased because scavenging is easier than hunting and Nature tossed aside other traits that predators who hunt large herbivores require. So basically, what we are left with are developmentally stunted Wolf Puppies.
Since then, Humans have created Breeds for every conceivable occupation, from large guard dogs (I read somewhere that Mr.Pinscher developed Dobermans in 35 years) to small Lap Dogs bred to attract the Fleas from the hygienically challenged European Nobility.
One of the coolest things that I have ever seen on PBS was an experiment on Russian Foxes. Geneticist Dimitri Belyaev believed that the patterns of changes observed in domesticated animals resulted from genetic changes and bred Foxes with the least aggressive dispositions.
Belyaev believed that behavior is rooted in biology and his experiment in selecting for tameness and against aggression, proved that physiological changes took place in the systems that govern the Fox's hormones and neurochemicals.
After several generations of interbreeding ‘Nice’ Foxes, the offspring developed floppy ears (wild animals do not have floppy ears),
curly tails, different coloured coats (non-camouflaged) and a few less ‘killing’ teeth.
The Foxes started to look and act more like Dogs because of changes in the levels of adrenaline and serotonin. Is that Cool or what?
In a few years the developing disciplines of Neuroscience and Technology will map the electrical-chemical pathways of the Human Brain in an attempt to demystify, understand, and no doubt modify, our behavior. Mysteries such as the existence of God, the Meaning of Life, and the current fascination with American Idol’s Sanjaya Malakar, will fall at our feet. Yippee!
Do you suppose that Humans will be genetically modified to produce ‘kinder-gentler’ more malleable citizens or will this process be hijacked to create Uber-Warrior/Soldiers, 10 foot tall/450 pound Super Athletes, and Playboy Centrefolds?
Dogs are ‘nicer’ than Wolves even if they are developmentally stunted. We Homo Escapeons no longer live in a Natural environment and don’t need to be so frickin’ aggressive, do we?
I think that it is quite evident that we are now in the process of discarding unused brainpower, just as Wolves did in order to become Dogs.
What type of People and which specific 'qualities' will the Pharmaceutical Corporations be breeding in 10 years?
I suspect that they'll still want Lap Dogs stuck on
Eye Stalk & Chase (Shop)/Grab Bite (Pay-Tax & Don't Ask)
Why don't WE ?!