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Old 08-04-2009, 03:09 AM   #1
k9mania
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Domestic dog origins challenged

By Judith Burns
Science reporter, BBC News

The suggestion that the domestic dog originated in East Asia has been challenged.
The huge genetic diversity of dogs found in East Asia had led many scientists to conclude that domestication began there.
But new research published in the journal PNAS shows the DNA of dogs in African villages is just as varied.
An international group of researchers analysed blood samples from dogs in Egypt, Uganda and Namibia.
Today's dogs are descended from Eurasian grey wolves, domesticated between 15,000 and 40,000 years ago.
I think it means that the conclusion that was drawn before might have been premature


Adam Boyko, Cornell University

The authors say the process by which humans domesticated the dog is poorly understood.
Lead scientist, Dr Adam Boyko of the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University, says he decided to look at village dogs because they are so much more genetically diverse than bred dogs that they may hold the key to the origins of dog domestication.
The team analysed DNA from 318 dogs from villages in Egypt, Uganda and Namibia and measured their genetic diversity.
They also analysed the genetic make up of dog breeds thought to be of African origin, for example the Saluki, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and the Pharoah Hound and compared all the resulting data with results for non African dogs such as Puerto Rican street dogs and non-pedigree dogs in the US.
The emphasis on African village dogs came about because Adam Boyko's co-authors, his brother and sister-in-law, were travelling in Africa on honeymoon. They collected all the blood samples from the African dogs.
Genetically diverse
The team found genetic diversity among African village dogs is just as diverse as that of East Asian dogs, leading them to question the hypothesis of an East Asian origin for dog domestication.


see the rest of the article at:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8182371.stm
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:13 AM   #2
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Different take on same story

Research Undermines Dog Domestication Theory


Few people spend their honeymoon catching and drawing blood from village dogs up and down Africa. But Ryan and Corin Boyko, two anthropologists at the University of California, Davis, chose this way to collect valuable genetic data that is casting a new light on the domestication of dogs.

ONCE A WOLF Scientists had thought that dogs, like these in Tibet, were domesticated from wolves in East Asia, but new work calls that into question.




The opportunity to combine love with science arose when Ryan’s brother Adam Boyko, a biologist at Cornell University, was discussing dog genetics with his professor, Carlos Bustamente. Dr. Bustamente, just back from a visit to Venezuela, remarked on how small the street dogs there were.
The two researchers wondered if the dogs carried a recently discovered gene that downsizes dogs from wolves and is found in all small dog breeds. Dr. Bustamente said the idea could be explored by collecting street dogs from up and down South America. Dr. Boyko, knowing his brother was planning a honeymoon in Africa but lacked the money to go far, proposed that the survey be done in Africa instead. “I paid for half their honeymoon,” Dr. Bustamente said.
Ryan and Corin Boyko collected 223 samples of village dog blood from Egypt, Uganda and Namibia. The small gene question has not yet been assessed, but their samples, reported in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have called into question a finding on the origin of dog domestication from wolves.
The origin is thought to be East Asia, based on a 2002 survey of both village dogs and breed dogs. But most of the village dogs in that survey came from East Asia, which could have tilted the outcome. The African village dogs turn out to have much the same amount of genetic diversity as those of East Asia. This is puzzling because the origin of a species is usually also the source of greatest genetic diversity.
The Boykos and Dr. Bustamente do not think dogs were domesticated in Africa — there are no wolves in Africa now, apart from the Ethiopian wolf — but they say the origin may not be East Asia. The issue is better addressed by looking just at village dogs, they think, and by excluding European breeds, which are mostly of recent origin.

See rest of article at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/sc...4dog.html?_r=1
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:44 PM   #3
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[quote=k9mania;84954]By Judith Burns
Science reporter, BBC News

They also analysed the genetic make up of dog breeds thought to be of African origin, for example the Saluki, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and the Pharoah Hound and compared all the resulting data with results for non African dogs

I found this a little confusing with the three breeds quoted as "thought to be of African origin".

No one knows where the Saluki originated. Certainly it has been in North Africa for a very long time. The Rhodesian Ridgeback has almost certainly decended from native South African dogs but in the 16th & 17th centuries European Dutch and German settlers crossed the native dogs with their Gt. Danes, Mastiffs, Salukis, Bloodhounds and others carefully breeding to retain the ridge of hair along the back. As for the Pharoah Hound, it originated in Malta and was taken to Egypt by traders.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:07 PM   #4
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Well regardless of where they originated and how, I won't love them any less! I'm personally more inclined to believe that dogs originated as scavengers near human camps as a pose to the theory that people took in wolves and domesticated them.

Of course this is more of a how rather than a where which is what these scientists are figuring out....who knows we may never find out
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jr_K9_Expert View Post
I'm personally more inclined to believe that dogs originated as scavengers near human camps as a pose to the theory that people took in wolves and domesticated them.
Yes I favour that theory too Steven.

My personal view is that Wolves and Dogs originated from a common ancestor and that the branches in the family tree divided prior to the development of the animals we know today.

What messes with the mix is that people did allow, either by accident or design, these "camp dogs" to interbreed with Wolves. Even today cubs are taken from the dens in Eastern Europe, some even sold to unsuspecting tourists.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:23 PM   #6
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I had accepted the findings in the National Geographic a number of years ago. As I remember it, the Asian origin of dogs was based on the close match between the DNA of the dog and the East Asian Gray Wolf.

Of course, I think I have mentioned no longer trusting the NG like I once did. At one time, it was a highly respected scientific journal, noted for its objectivity. Now I am seeing more and more signs it is just another source of agenda driven misinformation.

I miss the days when you could trust more of what you read.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfwalker View Post
Yes I favour that theory too Steven.

My personal view is that Wolves and Dogs originated from a common ancestor and that the branches in the family tree divided prior to the development of the animals we know today.

What messes with the mix is that people did allow, either by accident or design, these "camp dogs" to interbreed with Wolves. Even today cubs are taken from the dens in Eastern Europe, some even sold to unsuspecting tourists.
Yes, I definitely agree with the common ancestor part, unfortunately too many people fall for the romantic notion that there chihuahua come from what now looks like timber or grey wolves, when their ancestors were probably smaller and didn't have all the features of today's wild wolf.
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