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Dog Lovers Take Note- Good Documentary

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PBS has been re-running the two-part, Dogs That Changed the World/ Dogs By Design, series that is very interesting.  It analyzes the origin of the animals and their history with humans.

I saw both parts, very informative, interesting..

They offer some interesting theories about the origins and timeline of the domestication of dogs.  One thing not addressed is how dogs spread to all continents ('cept Antarctica) from a common source in east Asia, 15,000 years ago.  Where does the dingo fit?

The biological origin section doesn't mention it, but part of the reason the dog could make that big evolutionary leap so fast - and it works with foxes too, and probably other species - is a phenomenon called neoteny.  Deferred maturation, basically - the dog has more puppy in it, than its wild relatives.  You can see that in the physical features, behavior, etc.  Suppress maturation a little, and you get a whole bunch of traits that help with domestication.

There's plenty of reason to think the same applies to humans, neoteny is part of our evolution.

Right now the best science says dogs have been with humans for about 40K years. I say dogs have been with around higher functioning primates for a whole lot longer.


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