Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Strangeness of Dog Evolution

In comparison to other domestic animals, dogs are truly strange.  Although there are size and coat variations, most human-made animals look very much like their ancient ancestors.  Dogs don't.

The ancestor of the domestic pig is the wild boar. Domestic pigs were created in an area near Iraq and Turkey, around 15,000 years ago.
Wild Boar                                                                               Domestic Pig

Domestic felines evolved in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. Their ancient ancestor is the Near Eastern Wildcat.
Near Eastern Wildcat                                                                 Domestic Cat

People began using horses for transportation in the Eurasian Steppes or possibly near Kazakhstan, about 6,000 years ago. They likely evolved from the wild Przewalksi's Horse, animals that look similar to the now extinct Tarpan.
Przewalski's Horse                                                               Domestic Horse

Domestic dogs began begging for food somewhere between 10,000 and 35,000 years ago, but it could be longer.  Their place of origin continues to be debated.  You don't need scientific evidence to see how different domestic dogs looks from their wild ancestor.  Why this happens is yet to be determined.    Dogs are weird.

Grey Wolf                                                                                   Domestic Dog

1 comment:

  1. My eye always favours the original look of these animals!! Love wolves, foxes, dingos, their proportions are more natural looking. The wild boar, though a little slim in this photo, looks positively more healthy than the plump domestic pig. Also love wild horses! We have brumbies here that roam in out of the way rural areas, so sturdy compared to the their domestic cousins!!