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Thread: Humans and dogs have been sledding together for nearly 10,000 years

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    Humans and dogs have been sledding together for nearly 10,000 years

    Humans and dogs have been sledding together for nearly 10,000 years
    Sled dogs have also evolved adaptations to their harsh lifestyle, such as the ability to thrive on high-fat diets, a new study says.





    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...housand-years/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancer View Post
    Humans and dogs have been sledding together for nearly 10,000 years
    Sled dogs have also evolved adaptations to their harsh lifestyle, such as the ability to thrive on high-fat diets, a new study says.





    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...housand-years/
    Thanks for posting on this fascinating paper (free download here).

    I just read it, and two things grabbed me in particular, starting with a section illustrated with a chart comparing ancient Zhokhov dogs and modern huskies, which suggests that favoured body weight was the same then as now:

    'In our sample, which includes both males and females, most body weight values ... fit in the interval of 18–24 kg ...Hence, people chose females closer to the upper limit of the female body mass substandard and males closer to the lower limit of their body mass standard for working to be part of a sled dog team. In other words, people selected those animals whose body mass (size) is closest to the region of sexual dimorphism overlap to even out the size/weight of the harnessed animals and the draft."

    And this, which really raises questions about our ancestors and dogs in the Ice Age:

    "The most important conclusion is that already in Early Holocene, thousands of years earlier than previously thought, humans carried out directed selection of dogs, forming the standard of both sled dogs and hunting dogs. This is the third phase of dog domestication, which represents development of specialized forms, or breeds. The Zhokhov site material securely documents this process, dating it to around 8000 years ago, with the sled dog breed standard nearly identical to the modern one. This significantly changes the current ideas about the timing of specialized dog breed formation via directed selection. We suggest that sled dogs could have been used in Siberia around 15,000 years ago.

    Finally, there's also some interesting stuff on wolf and dog skull morphology, with a photo that illustrates the differences perfectly. Well worth a read.
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