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Bushranger

Origin of the domestic dog.

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I grew up (pre-DNA knowledge), when scientists claimed that the domestic dog was a direct descendant of the grey wolf.  However, at the same time, they were sure that the Giant Panda was as was also the Red Panda, more closely related to Raccoons that Bears.  However, as I understand it, DNA has how shown that Giant and Red Pandas are not related but that Red Pandas are related to Raccoons (as thought even previous to DNA) but the Giant Pandas are related to Bears.  

Which brings me to dogs.  Given that the African Hunting Dog, AKA, Painted Dog resembles the domestic dog way more than it seems the Grey Wolf does, has there been any DNA studies confirming that the Domestic Dog indeed evolved directly from the Grey Wolf and that the African Hunting Dog had a different acesstor and is not really a "dog" at all?

Edited by Bushranger
corrections

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Research is ongoing, but current studies seem to indicate that domestic dogs and grey wolves both evolved from a common ancestor wolf species, now extinct, while 

African wild dogs are related but more distantly. They can not be domesticated (or have not successfully been) or interbreed with Domestic dogs as The Grey wolf can.

The more modern Grey wolf on the other hand has contributed to the genetics of Domestic dogs.

Edited by naitche

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Yes, I understand that the domestic dog is descended from the grey wolf.  What seems counter intuitive is the close resemblance of the African Hunting Dog to the domestic dog given the more distant connection.   My instincts tell me that they should not look so much alike.  So much for my instincts.  I was hoping for some recent DNA studies of the Hunting Dogs.

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There is such huge variation of phenotype in domestic dogs. Looking at a dog like the Koolie for example, its easy to think they might be be more closely related.

There are likely more recent genetic studies  you could find associated with conservation efforts and captive breeding.  

 

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If dogs go feral, and have no breeding influence from humans, they revert to a wolf-like phenotype fairly quickly.    

This is the Australian dingo. It's very like the Asiatic Wolf : 

Dingo_walking.jpg

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, dimreepr said:

That's interesting, but I wouldn't call them feral. (they're not living in the wild) 

My example of the dingo is probably not the best, I think they were probably pretty similar when the arrived in Oz, not having been intensively bred like modern breeds. 

Looking at the problems that modern dogs get from inbreeding, I would have thought that if all humans died tomorrow, dogs would initially evolve very quickly. Bulldogs would be extinct in weeks, as would pekingese etc. Poodles would die from embarrassment, and Yorkies would just get killed by the others for being annoying. The dogs that survived the first few years would be the more athletic types, that stood a chance of catching something to eat.

I don't think it would take long to get back to a wolfish mongrel.

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2 minutes ago, mistermack said:

That's interesting, but I wouldn't call them feral. 

They are feral by definition.

6 minutes ago, mistermack said:

Looking at the problems that modern dogs get from inbreeding, I would have thought that if all humans died tomorrow, dogs would initially evolve very quickly. Bulldogs would be extinct in weeks, as would pekingese etc. Poodles would die from embarrassment, and Yorkies would just get killed by the others for being annoying. The dogs that survived the first few years would be the more athletic types, that stood a chance of catching something to eat.

Those are indeed problems and IMO those that insist on breeding in an ever-shallower gene pool are reprehensible and should be stopped and/or punished. But look at the practicalities a mastiff is very unlikely to be able to mate with a jack russell (mine are very adept at catching squirrels and rats), yet both could survive, not to mention poodles were hunting dogs. 

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14 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

They are feral by definition.

Not so. You can't be living in a wild state, in a major city, travelling the underground, begging for scraps and raiding bins. Even your own link called them homeless dogs, not feral. To qualify as feral, they need to be living in the wild and descended from domesticated animals.

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1 minute ago, mistermack said:

Not so. You can't be living in a wild state, in a major city, travelling the underground, begging for scraps and raiding bins. Even your own link called them homeless dogs, not feral. To qualify as feral, they need to be living in the wild and descended from domesticated animals.

 

Quote

(especially of an animal) in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication.

They're not commuters, they have no home or owners to go back to, they're living in the environment they find themselves in, if they found themselves in the jungle they'd do their best to survive there. Your idea of wild is an arbitrary one.

When I lived on a farm we had several feral cats, they avoided all human contact and lived on what they caught (they're not the begging type), do they count as feral?

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44 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

do they count as feral?

It's a semantic difference. To me, they are semi-feral. They aren't truly wild. There are no bears, wolves or lynx or eagles to kill them. Or wild cats to compete with. The wild doesn't really exist in the UK any more, except in some remote corners, or micro-environments. But other people can consider them feral, it's a free choice.

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6 minutes ago, mistermack said:

There are no bears, wolves or lynx or eagles to kill them. Or wild cats to compete with. The wild doesn't really exist in the UK any more, except in some remote corners, or micro-environments.

1

They don't know that.

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

They don't know that.

True. But not knowing that you're dead doesn't make you alive. :)

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But not having a home or owner does make them feral. ;)

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On 8/24/2018 at 6:27 AM, Bushranger said:

I grew up (pre-DNA knowledge), when scientists claimed that the domestic dog was a direct descendant of the grey wolf.  However, at the same time, they were sure that the Giant Panda was as was also the Red Panda, more closely related to Raccoons that Bears.  However, as I understand it, DNA has how shown that Giant and Red Pandas are not related but that Red Pandas are related to Raccoons (as thought even previous to DNA) but the Giant Pandas are related to Bears.  

Which brings me to dogs.  Given that the African Hunting Dog, AKA, Painted Dog resembles the domestic dog way more than it seems the Grey Wolf does, has there been any DNA studies confirming that the Domestic Dog indeed evolved directly from the Grey Wolf and that the African Hunting Dog had a different acesstor and is not really a "dog" at all?

Yes there are some trees showing the relationship between the African Wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and wolves, coyotes etc. There have been minor differences between studies, but from my limited knowledge the one in wikipedia is fairly accurate. Typically Jackals and the African Wild dog are outgroups (and foxes even further away) with gray wolves and coyotes grouping closer together. Dogs end up with or closest to the  gray wolves. Some hybrid dog breeds group closer to the gray wolf clade than the dog clade.

 

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There is a theory that argues that the relationship commenced once humans moved into the colder parts of Eurasia around 35,000 YBP. I'm all for this theory since I think Siberia had the correct environment. Even now you have the West and East Siberian laika, which imo look like domesticated wolves.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Siberian_Laikahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Siberian_Laika

Also, the gray wolf is the closest living relative of the dog but the wolves that dogs 'evolved' from were a different kind of wolf then the gray wolf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_domestic_dog

Edited by Itoero

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The reason that the Painted African Dogs haven't been domesticated might be that they are too efficient as predators. Their hunts are up to 90 percent successful. It's rare for them to scavenge, so they are not likely to hang around human settlements, stealing scraps, like a hungry wolf might do, so they wouldn't get accustomed to humans in the same way that a wolf might. 

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On 30/08/2018 at 2:43 PM, mistermack said:

It's a semantic difference. To me, they are semi-feral. They aren't truly wild. There are no bears, wolves or lynx or eagles to kill them. Or wild cats to compete with. The wild doesn't really exist in the UK any more, except in some remote corners, or micro-environments. But other people can consider them feral, it's a free choice.

The wild doesn't really exist in the world, except in places remote from people.

Some Scottish domestic cats, both pets and 'semi-feral' cats which avoid humans, interact with Scottish wildcats and are at risk of being killed by eagles.

A somewhat OTT description of the Scottish wildcat:

Quote

No feral or farmcat, the wildcat is a true wild species of cat just like a tiger or leopard; it was here long before we were and long before the domestic cat had first been bred by ancient farmers. Infamously the only wild animal to be untameable, even when captive reared, and one of the most elusive creatures in the world, Scottish wildcats may look a little like your pet tabby but these are incredibly tough super-predators capable of surviving Scotland's harshest winters, battling eagles and drawing the admiration of men who bested entire empires.

 

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On 8/31/2018 at 12:46 PM, mistermack said:

The reason that the Painted African Dogs haven't been domesticated might be that they are too efficient as predators. Their hunts are up to 90 percent successful. It's rare for them to scavenge, so they are not likely to hang around human settlements, stealing scraps, like a hungry wolf might do, so they wouldn't get accustomed to humans in the same way that a wolf might. 

Considering that domestication of canines was a fairly rare process and most wolves, coyotes, jackals etc. have in fact not experienced large scale domestication (beside the odd individual)  it is not really surprising that a random carnivore who happens to have "dog" in their name was not domesticated, either.

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I don't believe that a wildcat kitten can't be tamed. Leopards, Lions and Tigers have all been hand reared and tamed, and they don't have a domesticated close relative. 

It's a well known fact though, that wildcat shit is a cure for baldness.

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47 minutes ago, mistermack said:

I don't believe that a wildcat kitten can't be tamed. Leopards, Lions and Tigers have all been hand reared and tamed, and they don't have a domesticated close relative. 

It's a well known fact though, that wildcat shit is a cure for baldness.

From https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/running-ponies/a-cat-that-can-never-be-tamed/

Quote

The wildcats of Asia, Europe and Africa are most often considered subspecies of Felis silvestris, which would make the Scottish wildcat a population of the European wildcat subspecies, Felis silvestris silvestris. But some taxonomists consider it a subspecies of its own, called Felis silvestris silvestris,[really??] because it's spent two million years in total isolation.

...........

They're also notorious for being resolutely and impossibly wild. These cats have earned the reputation of never having been tamed by a human, not even if captive-born.

I'd say the onus is on you to find a tamed wildcat.

I recall reading some years ago ago of a couple of wildcat kittens being 'rescued' and reared as domestic cats. They were friendly as kittens but as they grew up they became impossible to handle.

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:) Since the domestic cat was bred from the European Wildcat's VERY close relative, the African Wildcat, I would say that the evidence is everywhere that wildcats can be tamed. 

The general consensus now is that there are probably no Scottish Wildcats left that don't have some domestic cat dna, so it's probably too late to try to find a purebred tame one.

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26 minutes ago, mistermack said:

:) Since the domestic cat was bred from the European Wildcat's VERY close relative, the African Wildcat, I would say that the evidence is everywhere that wildcats can be tamed. 

The general consensus now is that there are probably no Scottish Wildcats left that don't have some domestic cat dna, so it's probably too late to try to find a purebred tame one.

 

Quote

1.85 million years ago - First 'modern' hand emerges.

Would you expect your ancestors to be able to eat with a knife and fork? You claim that two million years of separate evolution is insignificant in a species that breeds at about one year compared to humans' 20ish+.

 

Domestic cats have lived in Britain for about 2000 years. If your definition of species requires 'never interbreeds with other species' then there are far fewer species than generally accepted and the Scottish Wildcat has been extinct for at least 1500 years as has the British domestic moggy.

Cro-magnons interbred with Neanderthals so perhaps H. Sap. isn't a species either...

On the other hand. if you accept that Scottish Wildcats that have some domestic cat dna, but not enough to affect their aversion to humans cannot be tamed, then we seem to be in agreement.

 

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I've seen no evidence that they can't be tamed. So, no I'm not in agreement.

What I said was that I don't believe that they can't be tamed. If I saw some good evidence to the contrary, I'd be likely to change my mind. I was expressing an opinion, not a conviction.

In any case, you would have to define tame. Which is a grey area. My sister's cat is supposed to be tame. But most of the family are scared of her. She's kept my niece hostage upstairs for ages in the past. Just by sitting at the bottom of the stairs. :D

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1 hour ago, mistermack said:

I've seen no evidence that they can't be tamed. So, no I'm not in agreement.

What I said was that I don't believe that they can't be tamed. If I saw some good evidence to the contrary, I'd be likely to change my mind. I was expressing an opinion, not a conviction.

In any case, you would have to define tame. Which is a grey area. My sister's cat is supposed to be tame. But most of the family are scared of her. She's kept my niece hostage upstairs for ages in the past. Just by sitting at the bottom of the stairs. :D

Failure to tame a Scottish Wildcat isn't good evidence to you that they can't be tamed so even if none have ever been tamed there is no way to change your opinion.

Attempting to tame a Scottish Wildcat is now illegal as well as cruel so there's unlikely to be further attempts.

 

Tameness is indeed rather subjective.

The chow/labrador cross in this video certainly thought the child he attacked's cat was a vicious brute.:)

 

The forum seems to have been 'improved' to prevent embedding videos....

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