On 8/12/2013 9:41 AM, Chris de Morsella wrote:


What co-evolutionary traits have been shown to have occurred in dogs and cattle because of their association with humans (so which are therefore part of the equation)?


Dogs are just wolves that, thru (un)natural selection have evolved to bond with humans as with a pack. Cattle similarly evolved to be docile and tolerant of humans.

For example with sheep -- is sheep dog behavior evolved? Or are they expressing genetic potential that was already innate in their species? That would also be an interesting example, if it can be shown that an evolved set of behaviors (e.g. instincts) developed in those dog species that were bred for working with cattle or sheep that is absent in other dog species that there are epigenetic and/or DNA encoding differences that are related to and underpin the behaviors and traits being observed.


Wolves herd sheep too, so there was innate potential. But dogs can also learn a lot of words. I don't know whether wolves can or not. That might be an evolved capability.

Brent

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