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Domestic Dogs - Essay Example

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Dogs are relegated as canids. Canids also include Wolves, Foxes, Jackals, and Dingoes. The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the gray wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mitochondrial DNA sequence. In comparison, the gray wolf differs from its closest wild relative, the coyote, by about 4% of mitochondrial DNA sequence…
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Domestic Dogs
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Domestic Dogs

Download file to see previous pages... Domestic dog is morphologically distinct from all other canids except its close relatives, the wolf-like canids. The earliest burial remains of a domestic dog are 14,000 years old and were found in Bonn-Oberkassel, Germany. Despite their many shapes and sizes all domestic dogs, from Newfoundlands to pugs, are members of the same species-Canis familiaris. Although they have domestic temperaments, these dogs are related to wolves, foxes, and jackals. Many of the behavior traits and body movements or positioning can be applied universally to all canids for example ear positioning, tail positioning, raised hackles, etc. There is considerable similarity between dogs and wild canid species; many wolf-like canids cannot be distinguished from domestic dogs of equivalent size. However, all dogs are consistently separated from fox-sized, wild canids by subtle but evolutionarily significant differences in olecranon, metapodial, and scapula morphology. Second, in domestic dogs the pattern of static allometry is nearly identical to that of ontogenetic allometry. This finding can be attributed to simple heterochronic alterations of postnatal growth rates. Talking about wolves, they have a fairly sophisticated communication system--in both body language and verbal language. They use their whole bodies when communicating. North American Wolves are extremely social animals and live in groups called packs. The packs can vary in size, usually according to the abundance or dearth of prey. For example, the wolf packs of Alaska's Denali National Park preying primarily on moose can number into the twenties; but in Minnesota, wolf packs typically number under ten. In some packs, there is one male or female wolf called the "omega". This wolf lives on the fringes of the wolf society and is usually the last to eat, sometimes going without if food is scarce. The link between the Domestic Dog and the Wolf is therefore a matter of scientific classification in Zoology. Interestingly the reclassification of the dog in 1993 meant the inclusion of Lupus to the scientific classification and therefore signifying the link between the dog and the wolf. Domestic Dogs share many of their characteristics with their wild relatives. Pack animals eat meat. Dogs too are able to eat raw meat if given to them and it's called the raw diet, territory issues marking their scent, communicating using physicality, play fighting etc. Essential difference between Domestic Dogs and their wild relatives is that of genetic information. Some other trivial differences are that dogs tend to howl less and bark more. Dogs are also domesticated as they are friendly towards people. A domestic dog when subject to wild environment will get acclimated and become wolf-like. As far as physicality is concerned, some of the attributes are tail & ear carriage, vocal communication - barking, howling, hunting, pack mentality & hierarchy, mating & litter rearing. Dogs were probably the first tame animals. They have accompanied humans for some 10,000 years. During this time we have, in some respects, genetically engineered (by selective breeding) so that they can become useful as working dogs. For Example the Bernese mountain dog was bred for draft work, the Boxer for bear fighting and the Mastiff as a war dog. Apart for the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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