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View Full Version : "Big, bad wolf' image flawed - scientists"



MikeWhalen
10-23-2017, 02:09 PM
I must say that the idea that wolves are much more cooperative with one another vis a vis dogs with other dogs is not a big revelation to me
...anyone who has bothered to educate themselves about actual wolf behavior would take that as a given
...although I am surprised that dogs did so poorly in the experiment, so perhaps that is the more useful nugget


http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41639176

Mike

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-23-2017, 03:43 PM
Contrary to what some people believe dogs aren't wolves and they aren't "pack" animals. They are social animals but under a totally different type of structure. I think it's possible myself the dog evolved from a canid much closer to the fox behaviourally. I also don't buy the domestication of wolves to any great extent. If it were that easy and useful to humans our homes would be full of them. :)
"The vast number of ‘village dogs’ that scavenge human refuse dumps around the world fit the profile of the domestic dog as a non-pack animal perfectly. Some individuals do form closely bonded pairs based on mutual affection, but on the whole, solitary individuals and bonded pairs space themselves out within their environment and remain largely separate from one another. Each seems to have its own feeding territory (as observed by biologist, Raymond Coppinger, on the East African island of Pemba), the control of which appears to be maintained by barking as opposed to patrolling a boundary or threatening or fighting with close neighbours. As a hark back to their lupine ancestry, these dogs echo the way in which wolf packs maintain their feeding territories ~ by voice, rather than by force. That's not to say that the domestic dog is not a hunter because it is, but dogs are scavenger carnivores and so left to their own devices, domestic dogs do not mass together to hunt and eat large prey. If domestic dogs do hunt, it's a solitary or pair affair, and the prey is small enough for just one or two dogs to catch and kill without sustaining injury."

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=17&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiwouS5iIfXAhVDXBoKHXCsDMgQFgh7MBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.caninemind.co.uk%2Fpack.html&usg=AOvVaw0cR5HQZ8MBIXu0ADi9AkPF

JerryS.
10-23-2017, 04:20 PM
domesticated dogs are not the same as wild dogs. that distinction must be made clear and understood for any comparison to be academically honest. African wild dogs are a good comparison to north American wolves regarding social structure and pack mentality.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-23-2017, 05:11 PM
domesticated dogs are not the same as wild dogs. that distinction must be made clear and understood for any comparison to be academically honest. African wild dogs are a good comparison to north American wolves regarding social structure and pack mentality.

Yes Village Dogs and Wild Dogs are two different things. Village dogs are basically domesticated dogs that live "wild" like all the many stray domestic dogs around the World I think.
" African wild dogs are not domestic dogs gone wild, nor are they closely related to wolves. Learn more about their genetic relationship to other canids."


19418

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjjv_mLnYfXAhUM5BoKHfwOArIQFggqMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.awdconservancy.org%2Ffacts%25 20page.html&usg=AOvVaw3_4yIuisZIufjSv3cXZwDP

kostoffj
10-23-2017, 06:49 PM
Contrary to what some people believe dogs aren't wolves and they aren't "pack" animals. They are social animals but under a totally different type of structure. I think it's possible myself the dog evolved from a canid much closer to the fox behaviourally. I also don't buy the domestication of wolves to any great extent. If it were that easy and useful to humans our homes would be full of them. :)


Wait, are you denying that domestic dogs are descended from wolves? What is your evidence, beyond it doesn't seem right to you? It's pretty well established from the genetics IIRC, exactly how it was achieved is what is unknown. However no one ever claimed it was easy, but as it turns out you can do a lot in the span of thousands of years.

kostoffj
10-23-2017, 06:59 PM
This story is to me example #5732 of why journalism in general, and the Beeb in this particular case, is so awful these days bordering on worthless.

"New research casts doubt on the idea that dogs are naturally more tolerant and friendly than wolves.

Who claimed this idea? Was it invented out of whole cloth by the fool journalist who wrote the story? Dogs are naturally more tolerant and friendly TO HUMAN BEINGS than wolves, full stop end of the story, and I don't see that being challenged by the research. I have never heard of any popular idea that dogs are more gregarious with each other (strange dogs will quite often fight each other, no secret there) than wolves although N.B. wolves are gregarious with other wolves from their pack; they will fight wolves from other packs intruding on their territory.

The idea that wolves are "big, bad" stem entirely from what they have done to prey, wild and livestock, even humans in historical times, why would the writer believe that people would be surprised that wolves take tender care of their own pups or cooperate with each other in packs? Exactly zero popular ideas have been challenged and refuted by this study.

What was potentially an interesting story on its own merits was ruined by idiot Beeb reporter feeling the need to force an "intrepid scientists make ordinary people look like dumb hicks" template onto the story.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-23-2017, 07:31 PM
Wait, are you denying that domestic dogs are descended from wolves? What is your evidence, beyond it doesn't seem right to you? It's pretty well established from the genetics IIRC, exactly how it was achieved is what is unknown. However no one ever claimed it was easy, but as it turns out you can do a lot in the span of thousands of years.

No. It seems the dog probably evolved from a sub-species of Wolf now extinct. What I'm saying is domestic dogs are no longer wolves and haven't been for a very long time. People tend to apply wolf pack theory to dogs. However what we don't know as far as I'm aware is what the behaviour of that sub-species was at a given point in time and why dogs became domesticated when other wolves didn't even over thousands of years. Some genetic variation? Different behaviour pattern? Something must have been different about them.

kostoffj
10-23-2017, 07:47 PM
No. It seems the dog probably evolved from a sub-species of Wolf now extinct. What I'm saying is domestic dogs are no longer wolves and haven't been for a very long time. People tend to apply wolf pack theory to dogs. However what we don't know as far as I'm aware is what the behaviour of that sub-species was at a given point in time and why dogs became domesticated when other wolves didn't even over thousands of years. Some genetic variation? Different behaviour pattern? Something must have been different about them.

Yes, agreed @ people trying to apply wolf pack theory to modern dogs, they have become very different behaving from wolves (not to mention in morphology...).

I remember the Russian experiment in fox domestication. IIRC they would select for certain behaviors towards humans that a minority of kits in fox litters would show, separate those out, breed them, filter the next litter in the same way, and repeat this for several iterations. It was either 3 or 5 generations until they arrived at the domesticated fox, again IIRC. It's theorized that something like this was performed in prehistory with wolves, albeit over longer time spans and not nearly so methodically.

BTW now one can buy such domesticated foxes. Some owners have put videos of their pets on YouTube, they are very cute and seem very playful and fun, but at a price of $8000 or so per fox, I think I'll pass!

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-24-2017, 06:06 AM
Yes, agreed @ people trying to apply wolf pack theory to modern dogs, they have become very different behaving from wolves (not to mention in morphology...).

I remember the Russian experiment in fox domestication. IIRC they would select for certain behaviors towards humans that a minority of kits in fox litters would show, separate those out, breed them, filter the next litter in the same way, and repeat this for several iterations. It was either 3 or 5 generations until they arrived at the domesticated fox, again IIRC. It's theorized that something like this was performed in prehistory with wolves, albeit over longer time spans and not nearly so methodically.

BTW now one can buy such domesticated foxes. Some owners have put videos of their pets on YouTube, they are very cute and seem very playful and fun, but at a price of $8000 or so per fox, I think I'll pass!

Yes foxes do tend to be much easier to domesticate than wolves. Link to a separate thread about foxes below.
There is a theory I think that early dogs largely self-domesticated with the "tamest" in terms of flight distance from humans being more successful as a result of their human contact. I wonder whether these early dogs evolved from a pack hunting animal because of human contact or did they start off with a more individual scavenging lifestyle, similar to that of the fox, which brought them into close contact with people? Whereas people seem to have always regarded wolves as dangerous and competitors this doesn't seem to have happened to the same extent with early dogs. Maybe it was a very gradual process?

http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?11628-How-to-Tame-a-Fox-(and-build-a-dog)

George Chandler
10-24-2017, 03:58 PM
Yes Village Dogs and Wild Dogs are two different things. Village dogs are basically domesticated dogs that live "wild" like all the many stray domestic dogs around the World I think.
" African wild dogs are not domestic dogs gone wild, nor are they closely related to wolves. Learn more about their genetic relationship to other canids."


19418

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjjv_mLnYfXAhUM5BoKHfwOArIQFggqMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.awdconservancy.org%2Ffacts%25 20page.html&usg=AOvVaw3_4yIuisZIufjSv3cXZwDP

Thanks for the genetic relationship chart. That's really interesting to see it laid out like that.