"We met the world’s first domesticated foxes"

Discussion in 'Science' started by Durandal, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Durandal

    Durandal Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    31,355
    Likes Received:
    6,494
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    The result of a sixty-year Soviet experiment. Foxes have been bred to be friendly and domesticated, like dogs.

    I'd call it yet another fine demonstration of evolution in action, in this case evolution by artificial selection, something humans have been using to their advantage since time immemorial. It's how we have the crops we do today, as well as our domesticated animals. And now we have one more domesticated animal!

     
    Mamasaid likes this.
  2. primate

    primate Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    369
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Behavior is not necessarily evolution. Speciation may change behavior(s) or not as an example. They took foxes and bred for man friendly behavior. This experiment has been going on for decades.

    PS: should have watched first
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  3. truth and justice

    truth and justice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    12,655
    Likes Received:
    2,407
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I found that the most interesting part was that genes for friendliness were located in the DNA. . That is evolution in practice and over a short time period. Perhaps another observation is that this experiment supports Lamarck's theory of evolution
     
  4. Durandal

    Durandal Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    31,355
    Likes Received:
    6,494
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    It's an opportunity to look at which genes are pivotal in domesticating members of canidae, and possibly other mammals as well. It seems there is great interest in this experiment as a way to understand how wolves were first domesticated so very long ago. They can look at modern dogs and see a lot of genetic changes, but can't be sure which ones govern these behaviors, I guess. Knowing more about these mutations should mean being able to trace more effectively when and how those changes occurred historically in wolves and dogs.

    I suspect that foxes may never become quite like dogs, though, because foxes are by nature loners, whereas wolves are pack animals by nature. This would make foxes less suited to becoming as social with us as dogs have become. Kind of like with cats. They're natural loners, hence they have a very temperament to dogs. I think our relationship with them is most like a parent-child relationship, with housecats essentially being pedomorphic cats that remain our "kittens" for life. Not sure how much that might apply to foxes. Dogs relate to us more as equals, though, as pack members of a sort.
     
    primate likes this.

Share This Page