Eat your cereal!  Or wheat, not meat, offers new clues on the evolution of the dog. An article in the Washington Post today suggests that developing the ability to digest grains played a key role in the evolution of the dog. This fascinating finding lends support to one of the main theories of canine domestication, namely that wolves started down the road to becoming dogs as they scavenged garbage around the edges of human settlements.  The modality and timing of dog domestication are hot research topics these days, with new scientific findings appearing every few weeks.  Raymond Coppinger has promoted the self-domestication / scavenger hypothesis  for many years.  We will be talking about this and other theories in class in the coming weeks.  Were the first dogs scavenging wolves?  Or were they social wolves who collaborated with humans on the hunt?  Did humans domesticate dogs as a food source?  Or did the impetus to keep pets motivate early humans to bring orphan wolf puppies into their communities? Perhaps a bit of all of the above?

Feral dog - India


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