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The History And Evolution Of Dogs

3672 words - 15 pages

(word count includes Annotated Bibliography)
Throughout the world there are many different countries that contain diverse cultures, religions, and life styles. There is however certain aspects within these countries and cultures that acts as a common ground between one another. One dominant aspect is the existence of dogs within these cultures. Dogs are common throughout the world, either as a domestic pet, a protector on a farm, or an assistant for hunting; amongst others. Regardless of the reason for having a dog most people have either owned one for themselves or has known somebody who has owned one at some point in their life. Despite the relative normality of having a dog in your life in one way or another, the reasons for dogs coming into existence is not common knowledge among most people. Throughout a great portion of mankind’s history dogs have been an essential part of life. The truth is dogs were actually created in part by man. It was evolution from wolves in the form of natural and artificial selection that brought dogs into existence (Harris 3). This is the most modern and widely excepted theory at this time, however this was not always the case considering the theory of evolution in of itself is relatively new in our society. After evolution as a theory was accepted there were several other variations on the theory such as, the evolution being from jackals opposed to wolves, and artificial selection being the only form of evolution to have taken place. According to Jarret A Lobell and Eric A Powell of Archaeology magazine “The idea that dogs were domesticated from jackals was long ago discarded in favor of the notion that dogs descend from the gray wolf (2)”. As for the theory that artificial selection was the only form of evolution to take place, is also now considered to be an obsolete theory(Harris 2) and the reasons for this will be discussed in more detail in the following paragraphs.
Before a detailed description of how dogs evolved from wolves can be made, an understanding of the process of evolution must first be acquired. The evolutionary process means in basic terms that only the best survive. Animals and plants with better qualities have a better chance of survival; therefore the qualities that allowed them to survive can then be passed on to their offspring. Slowly this plant or animal begins to become different from its ancestors and eventually will become a different species entirely. This form of evolution is known as natural selection (Harris 3). This means that it is the plant or animals natural habitat that is in control of their survival. Another similar but notably different scenario can also take place. This is known as artificial selection. Artificial selection is similar to natural selection in the sense that only the best will live long enough or be able to have offspring and be able to pass on their personnel qualities. The difference is that instead of a natural environment being in control...

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