The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersGene Expression Blog
Dogs Most Likely to be from the Heartland
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Screenshot - 10192015 - 03:36:05 PM
Screenshot - 10192015 - 03:51:57 PM The media is blowing up with a new story about the phylogeography and phylogenetics of the domestic dog.* The New York Times has a good write up, and I like its title: Central Asia Could Be Birthplace of the Modern Dog (the headline was changed to “15,000 Years Ago, Probably in Asia, the Dog Was Born” while I was writing this post, which strikes me as even more tentative). The conditional clause is pretty important, because this is not definitive, but suggestive. The paper is titled Genetic structure in village dogs reveals a Central Asian domestication origin, but the text itself is a lot more qualified than the title might let on. There are many more chapters to this story to be told.

Screenshot - 10192015 - 04:54:55 PM The issue of the where dogs came from is kind of a big deal. There have been claims for the origin of dogs in East Asia, Middle East, and Europe. If you look at these papers there are major issues in terms of the underlying data used to make these inferences (e.g., the East Asian argument relies on Y lineages, while the arguments favoring Europe are based on mtDNA, with a particular comparison to ancient genomes from Europe, and the Middle Eastern result turns out to have had issues of sample bias). To be fair, you can only make arguments based on the data you have on hand. But, the track record for humans should make us careful about that in relation to strong general inferences.

A big upside of this particular paper is that the massive geographic coverage. This took a lot of work, as I discussed this with Ryan Boyko (second author) a few years ago (dogs can be ornery and village dogs in particular are not hygienic creatures). Additionally, as they note they use a “semicustom” SNP-chip, with nearly 200,000 markers. This is sufficient density in mammals for most inference, and is probably overkill for breed analysis which used to be the bread & butter of dog genetics. As you can see from the PCA plot, a lot of the genetic variation is partitioned by geography.

Basically, dogs at some point diverged from a common ancestor, and accrued variation which distinguished lineages by region. Second, the spread of European origin dogs is a major dynamic which affects much of the world. In the paper itself the authors mention that there’s going to be some ascertainment bias in their sample set toward this admixture in non-European lineages because of the concentration of post-colonial lineages in cities. You see similar patterns with domestic cats, which is an organism I know better. A rule of thumb seems to be that if Christianity was successful a region, the local domestic lineages may also have been swamped (perhaps this is correlated with cultural complexity, which are correlated with dogs well adapted toward resisting invasive European dogs?). Nevertheless, there are interesting populations like the Carolina dog which preserve pre-European lineages.

The major finding, allowed by their geographic finding, is that Central Asian dogs exhibit evidence of a long ago bottleneck in their genome due to their pattern of linkage disequilibrium (LD). LD can be thought of as a violation of Mendel’s law of assortment on a biomolecular scale. Genetic variants at different loci are co-inherited together at a higher fraction than would be the expected case if they were segregating in the population independently (e.g., if allele A and a are both at 0.5, and B and b are 0.5, then A should be found in equal proportion associated with B and b, but in a case of LD it wouldn’t be). In a physical sense one can imagine these as haplotypes, sequences of variation across the genome, where particular alleles are often found on the same segment.

All this is important as LD is a signature of different demographic events, including the bottleneck above. When you have a very recent admixture between two populations you get elevated LD. Adjoining ancestrally informative alleles take generations to disassociate from each other through of recombination. But bottlenecks can also induce increased LD, as particular haplotypes increase rapidly in frequency through sampling processes. Populations which have gone through sharp recent reductions in population will exhibit long range LD. LD between alleles which are posited relatively far apart on a genomic scale. Over time recombination breaks apart these associations, and LD gets shorter and shorter. This “decay” in LD over time has been used to peg admixture dates, but in this case the authors note that:

LD is lowest in Afghanistan and Central Asia at short inter-SNP distances (< 0.0005 cM) and lowest in Vietnam at intermediate distances (0.01–0.05 cM), with rates increasing in other populations depending on their isolation and distance from Asia. These patterns of LD decay strongly suggest a Central Asian origin for domestic dogs with a subsequent population expansion (larger contemporary Ne) in East Asia and elsewhere. These patterns are consistent if physical, rather than genetic, inter-SNP distance is measured, or if different subsets of dogs are used for each population

Pat Shipman--The Inaders cover--3-1-15 PMZ To my mind there are two other major reasons that it is likely that Central Asia is a highly likely candidate region for the origin of modern domesticates. Simply, and alluded to in the paper, is that Central Asia is in a central position in relation to the full pre-Columbian range of the species. The likelihood from all the genetic evidence is that dogs are descended from a population similar to Eurasian wolves; so their locus of origin has to be in the Palearctic ecozone. Second, there is archaeological signs that canids with a dog-like morphology arose very early here. Ancient DNA also lends some support to this supposition.

Is this is a slam dunk case? Not at all. As some commentators have pointed out, at a certain level of granularity inferences from extant variation have limited utility. But the question is the level of granularity…modern human origin in Africa inferred from archaeology, mtDNA, and microsatellites, have been broadly supported. This seems to be the scale that this sort of paper is targeting.

The second major issue that this paper tries to pin indirectly is the period of domestication. They converge upon the date of ~15,000 years before the present, which seems to be the new mainstream/conservative estimate. An ancient DNA paper which was published this spring though pushes the possible date as far back as ~40,000 years before the present. Additionally, dogs moved with humans, and it strikes me that if the Amerindians brought dogs with them, then a date of ~15,000 years is close to the lower bound (the distribution of dates isn’t symmetrical).

In a few years, with lots of whole-genome analyses with this level of geographic coverage, as well as ancient DNA, I expect that some of the story above will be confirmed, but the overall picture is likely to be complex and more bizarre than we would expect. I say that because it seems very unlikely to me that dogs are going to be any simpler a story than that of humans. If the vast majority of Northern Europeans were replaced ~5,000 years ago, was there a concomitant replacement of dogs? Some ancient DNA indicates replacement, just as has been the case with humans. It seems likely that large animals during the Pleistocene underwent complex meta-population dynamics of extinction and recolonization several times. One can imagine a scenario where the vast majority of modern dog ancestry derives from Central Eurasian ~15,000 years before the present, after the Last Glacial Maximum, but where threads of more diverged ancestry persist in some populations, not to mention acknowledged gene flow from local wolves.

At the end of the day, if someone made me bet where the ancestral lineage which diverged from the ancestors of Eurasian wolves flourished, I would say Central Asia. But, my confidence in this assertion is only moderate, and it seems likely that even this simple answer might mislead us as to the complexity of the bigger picture. I suspect we’ll known the answer within the next five years.

Addendum: This paper has some of the first large scale analysis of Y chromosomal SNP variation. Intriguingly they found “We also see indigenous Mt haplotypes segregating in Carolina dogs and Xoloitzcuintlis, but no unique Y haplotypes indicative of indigenous ancestry were found in American dogs outside of the Arctic.” This strangely recapitulates sex-biased gene flow in the New World for humans, indicating that the story of man and his best friend exhibit more similarities than we might have thought.

* I should add that several of the authors on this paper are friends.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Genomics 
Hide 14 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Nice essay. I suspect that there are some missing pieces to this story, and that your final comment “the story of man and his best friend exhibit more similarities than we might have thought.” is very apt. I think that we should also consider the fact that the hunter-gatherers who made it to Australia some fifty thousand years ago brought dogs with them. Dingos (and New Guinea “singing” dogs are semi-feral today in many places, but they are definitely within the domestic dog genomic range. they are not as fully “domesticated as many pet dogs today but then that process may have happen recently and rapidly during the last few thousand years. (see “Dingoes, like wolves, are smarter than pet dogs” http://www.physorg.com/news195460315.html )

    This suggests that some kind of perhaps symbiotic association predates the time scale imagined by the authors you have cited here. The hunter gatherers in Africa have dogs (20% of families in my San sample had dogs and another 40% had owned a dog in the past. Meanwhile the ubiquitous African village dog have a high level of genetic diversity:

    “High genetic diversity of East Asian village dogs has recently been used to argue for an East Asian origin of the domestic dog. However, global village dog genetic diversity and the extent to which semiferal village dogs represent distinct, indigenous populations instead of admixtures of various dog breeds has not been quantified. Understanding these issues is critical to properly reconstructing the timing, number, and locations of dog domestication. To address these questions, we sampled 318 village dogs from 7 regions in Egypt, Uganda, and Namibia, measuring genetic diversity >680 bp of the mitochondrial D-loop, 300 SNPs, and 89 microsatellite markers. We also analyzed breed dogs, including putatively African breeds (Afghan hounds, Basenjis, Pharaoh hounds, Rhodesian ridgebacks, and Salukis), Puerto Rican street dogs, and mixed breed dogs from the United States. Village dogs from most African regions appear genetically distinct from non-native breed and mixed-breed dogs, although some individuals cluster genetically with Puerto Rican dogs or United States breed mixes instead of with neighboring village dogs. Thus, African village dogs are a mosaic of indigenous dogs descended from early migrants to Africa, and non-native, breed-admixed individuals. Among putatively African breeds, Pharaoh hounds, and Rhodesian ridgebacks clustered with non-native rather than indigenous African dogs, suggesting they have predominantly non-African origins. Surprisingly, we find similar mtDNA haplotype diversity in African and East Asian village dogs, potentially calling into question the hypothesis of an East Asian origin for dog domestication.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/33/13903.abstract

    The thing that is curious here is that the domestic dog (including the dingo) is taxonomically a subspecies of the gray wolf. This wild species was previously thought to occur only in Eurasia and North America, and so comparisons with the genomes of extant subspecies of Eurasian wolves and domestic dogs (including the dingo) were done and reported last year. Researchers analyzed the genomes of wolves from three likely sites of domestication (the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe), and found that modern dogs were not more closely related to any of the three. In fact, it seems that the closest wolf ancestors of today’s dogs may have gone extinct, leaving no wild descendants.

    “The dogs all form one group, and the wolves all form one group, and there’s no wolf that these dogs are more closely related to of the three that we sampled,” said study researcher John Novembre, a professor of genetics at the University of Chicago. “That’s the big surprise of the study.”

    so it seems that the ancestral wolf population form which dogs were domesticated has disappeared. http://www.livescience.com/42649-dogs-closest-wolf-ancestors-extinct.html

    They did not, as far as I know, take a look at the grey wolf species living in Africa:

    “New molecular evidence reveals a new species of grey wolf living in Africa. Formerly confused with golden jackals, and thought to be an Egyptian subspecies of jackal, the new African wolf shows that members of the grey wolf lineage reached Africa about 3 million years ago, before they spread throughout the northern hemisphere….A new study, involving a collaboration of biologists from the University of Oslo, Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and Addis Ababa University, has uncovered genetic evidence that unambiguously places the Egyptian jackal within the grey wolf species complex. It is not a jackal, but a wolf, taxonomically grouped with the Holarctic grey wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf. Dr Eli Rueness, the first author of the paper, states that “We could hardly believe our own eyes when we found wolf DNA that did not match anything in GenBank.”
    The genetic data indicate that the Indian and Himalayan wolves evolved as separate taxa within the modern wolf cluster even before the grey wolf radiated throughout the northern hemisphere. Furthermore, not only did these two types of wolves originate before grey wolves radiated in northern latitudes, but the wolfish colonization of Africa took place before the grey wolf radiation as well. The colonization of Africa by the ancestral stock of grey wolves took place about 3 million years ago and is today embodied by the animal that has hitherto been called the Egyptian jackal. Professor Claudio Sillero, of the WildCRU and current Chairman of the IUCN’s Canid Specialist Group, added that “Ethiopian wolves split off from the grey wolf complex even earlier than the newly discovered African wolf.”
    The Oslo/WildCRU/Addis Ababa team also found genetically very similar specimens 2,500 km from Egypt, in the highlands of Ethiopia. Golden jackals are regarded by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as not endangered – a “species of least concern” – but the newly discovered African wolf may be much rarer.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-01-cryptic-african-wolf-canis-aureus.html#jCp

    So, now i wonder, what if the AMH hunter-gatherers in Africa, and in passing through northern Africa during their expansion into Eurasia, already were hanging around with dogs.. dogs descended via a domestication bottleneck, from a now vanished African Gray Wolf, a subspecies perhaps of the wild species surviving in small numbers in Ethiopia? What if these animals were at first dingo-like, and hung out with hunter-gatherers because it suited both species?

    I remember the usefulness of the dogs in San camps – they were an early warning system of any predator approach, and they would do this yodelling warning cry. I had a leopard circling the brush fence arounds my camp once and the dogs alerted me – and the neighbouring hunter-gather camp. This was in the very early morning, before dawn, and the dogs drove the leopard off.

    Mostly these dogs hung around and ate scrapes. The even ate discarded leather clothing like old hides and one day watched a young dog systematically consume the hoof of a large antelope that had been killed and distributed to all the families in the camp a few days earlier. The dogs were never taken hunting or anything, although I understand that in other San communities, hunting bush pigs with clubs and digs was sometimes done. Only a few families had breeding bitches and they regularly distributed puppies, but these met various ends (roaming young dogs playing with the children were sometimes picked off by hyaenas, which was counted as better than having a child taken. These dogs tend to bark and gang up on a threatening predator, something which certain breeds like Karelian Bear dogs (and the Inuit’s huskies) are still famous for today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp-eaTbVfLY

    So what if they came with the AMH who expanded out of Africa? What if the animals that came along ARE this mysterious extinct wolf that John November could not find? What if they were more like dingos – able to forage and hunt small game for themselves, but sharing camps and getting a steady supply of scraps (and mutual playful amusement) from their close association with human camps? This does not preclude some hybridization with local wild wolves, of course, nor does it preclude a later stage of more intense domestication and breed development for special purposes at various times in Eurasia. But it might lend more coherence to the story, and explain why the the people who got to Australia, and the ones who made it to Americas arrived with dogs.
    Dates for domesticated dogs found in the americas go back as far as 12,000 BP (Old Crow) http://canadianarchaeology.com/caa/publications-129 and are found all over North and south America. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1h1946p4#page-1 Humans seem to have a tendency to like having canids around – Darwin found that the hunter-gatherers – the Yaghane in Tierra del Fuego, having lost a source of dogs, had resorted to domesticating the local foxes.

    Anyway it is all fascinating, as you say, and we still have not got to the end of the story by any means.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tobus
    I think that we should also consider the fact that the hunter-gatherers who made it to Australia some fifty thousand years ago brought dogs with them.

    No, dingoes arrived much later, probably in the last 10,000 years. See http://australianmuseum.net.au/dingo
    , @Rick
    Dingos certainly did not arrive in Australia with the first humans 50,000 years ago. There is absolutely no basis to that.
    , @Kosmatka
    Helga, great info in that comment. A lot to chew on-- particularly this quote: "What if the animals that came along ARE the mysterious extinct wolf that John November could not find?" An interesting idea.

    Reading through all the info in your comment, I looked at that first PCA figure again in Razib's post, and it struck me that if the first trend line (containing the besenji) was indicative of golden jackal admixture, then then second and third trend lines could represent admixture from the Himalayan wolf and the Indian wolf. Which then leaves the lower left-to-right trend line as drift within the main dog lineage?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /gnxp/dogs-most-likely-to-be-from-the-heartland/#comment-1195219
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Kosmatka says:

    The whole top trend line of that first PCA figure (besenji at the apex), is screaming golden Jackal admixture.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Helga Vierich
    Well that is interesting because it is the Golden Jackal, in fact is actually a grey wolf subspecies, the one that I talked about in my comment above. This animal has not been taxonomically reclassified as yet, the genetic work on them revealing that they re in fact grey wolves, is so new.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. @Kosmatka
    The whole top trend line of that first PCA figure (besenji at the apex), is screaming golden Jackal admixture.

    Well that is interesting because it is the Golden Jackal, in fact is actually a grey wolf subspecies, the one that I talked about in my comment above. This animal has not been taxonomically reclassified as yet, the genetic work on them revealing that they re in fact grey wolves, is so new.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Tobus says:
    @Helga Vierich
    Nice essay. I suspect that there are some missing pieces to this story, and that your final comment "the story of man and his best friend exhibit more similarities than we might have thought.” is very apt. I think that we should also consider the fact that the hunter-gatherers who made it to Australia some fifty thousand years ago brought dogs with them. Dingos (and New Guinea “singing” dogs are semi-feral today in many places, but they are definitely within the domestic dog genomic range. they are not as fully “domesticated as many pet dogs today but then that process may have happen recently and rapidly during the last few thousand years. (see “Dingoes, like wolves, are smarter than pet dogs” http://www.physorg.com/news195460315.html )

    This suggests that some kind of perhaps symbiotic association predates the time scale imagined by the authors you have cited here. The hunter gatherers in Africa have dogs (20% of families in my San sample had dogs and another 40% had owned a dog in the past. Meanwhile the ubiquitous African village dog have a high level of genetic diversity:

    "High genetic diversity of East Asian village dogs has recently been used to argue for an East Asian origin of the domestic dog. However, global village dog genetic diversity and the extent to which semiferal village dogs represent distinct, indigenous populations instead of admixtures of various dog breeds has not been quantified. Understanding these issues is critical to properly reconstructing the timing, number, and locations of dog domestication. To address these questions, we sampled 318 village dogs from 7 regions in Egypt, Uganda, and Namibia, measuring genetic diversity >680 bp of the mitochondrial D-loop, 300 SNPs, and 89 microsatellite markers. We also analyzed breed dogs, including putatively African breeds (Afghan hounds, Basenjis, Pharaoh hounds, Rhodesian ridgebacks, and Salukis), Puerto Rican street dogs, and mixed breed dogs from the United States. Village dogs from most African regions appear genetically distinct from non-native breed and mixed-breed dogs, although some individuals cluster genetically with Puerto Rican dogs or United States breed mixes instead of with neighboring village dogs. Thus, African village dogs are a mosaic of indigenous dogs descended from early migrants to Africa, and non-native, breed-admixed individuals. Among putatively African breeds, Pharaoh hounds, and Rhodesian ridgebacks clustered with non-native rather than indigenous African dogs, suggesting they have predominantly non-African origins. Surprisingly, we find similar mtDNA haplotype diversity in African and East Asian village dogs, potentially calling into question the hypothesis of an East Asian origin for dog domestication.
     
    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/33/13903.abstract

    The thing that is curious here is that the domestic dog (including the dingo) is taxonomically a subspecies of the gray wolf. This wild species was previously thought to occur only in Eurasia and North America, and so comparisons with the genomes of extant subspecies of Eurasian wolves and domestic dogs (including the dingo) were done and reported last year. Researchers analyzed the genomes of wolves from three likely sites of domestication (the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe), and found that modern dogs were not more closely related to any of the three. In fact, it seems that the closest wolf ancestors of today's dogs may have gone extinct, leaving no wild descendants.

    "The dogs all form one group, and the wolves all form one group, and there's no wolf that these dogs are more closely related to of the three that we sampled," said study researcher John Novembre, a professor of genetics at the University of Chicago. "That's the big surprise of the study."
     
    so it seems that the ancestral wolf population form which dogs were domesticated has disappeared. http://www.livescience.com/42649-dogs-closest-wolf-ancestors-extinct.html

    They did not, as far as I know, take a look at the grey wolf species living in Africa:

    “New molecular evidence reveals a new species of grey wolf living in Africa. Formerly confused with golden jackals, and thought to be an Egyptian subspecies of jackal, the new African wolf shows that members of the grey wolf lineage reached Africa about 3 million years ago, before they spread throughout the northern hemisphere....A new study, involving a collaboration of biologists from the University of Oslo, Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and Addis Ababa University, has uncovered genetic evidence that unambiguously places the Egyptian jackal within the grey wolf species complex. It is not a jackal, but a wolf, taxonomically grouped with the Holarctic grey wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf. Dr Eli Rueness, the first author of the paper, states that "We could hardly believe our own eyes when we found wolf DNA that did not match anything in GenBank."
    The genetic data indicate that the Indian and Himalayan wolves evolved as separate taxa within the modern wolf cluster even before the grey wolf radiated throughout the northern hemisphere. Furthermore, not only did these two types of wolves originate before grey wolves radiated in northern latitudes, but the wolfish colonization of Africa took place before the grey wolf radiation as well. The colonization of Africa by the ancestral stock of grey wolves took place about 3 million years ago and is today embodied by the animal that has hitherto been called the Egyptian jackal. Professor Claudio Sillero, of the WildCRU and current Chairman of the IUCN's Canid Specialist Group, added that "Ethiopian wolves split off from the grey wolf complex even earlier than the newly discovered African wolf."
    The Oslo/WildCRU/Addis Ababa team also found genetically very similar specimens 2,500 km from Egypt, in the highlands of Ethiopia. Golden jackals are regarded by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as not endangered – a "species of least concern" – but the newly discovered African wolf may be much rarer."

     
    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-01-cryptic-african-wolf-canis-aureus.html#jCp”

    So, now i wonder, what if the AMH hunter-gatherers in Africa, and in passing through northern Africa during their expansion into Eurasia, already were hanging around with dogs.. dogs descended via a domestication bottleneck, from a now vanished African Gray Wolf, a subspecies perhaps of the wild species surviving in small numbers in Ethiopia? What if these animals were at first dingo-like, and hung out with hunter-gatherers because it suited both species?

    I remember the usefulness of the dogs in San camps - they were an early warning system of any predator approach, and they would do this yodelling warning cry. I had a leopard circling the brush fence arounds my camp once and the dogs alerted me - and the neighbouring hunter-gather camp. This was in the very early morning, before dawn, and the dogs drove the leopard off.

    Mostly these dogs hung around and ate scrapes. The even ate discarded leather clothing like old hides and one day watched a young dog systematically consume the hoof of a large antelope that had been killed and distributed to all the families in the camp a few days earlier. The dogs were never taken hunting or anything, although I understand that in other San communities, hunting bush pigs with clubs and digs was sometimes done. Only a few families had breeding bitches and they regularly distributed puppies, but these met various ends (roaming young dogs playing with the children were sometimes picked off by hyaenas, which was counted as better than having a child taken. These dogs tend to bark and gang up on a threatening predator, something which certain breeds like Karelian Bear dogs (and the Inuit’s huskies) are still famous for today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp-eaTbVfLY

    So what if they came with the AMH who expanded out of Africa? What if the animals that came along ARE this mysterious extinct wolf that John November could not find? What if they were more like dingos - able to forage and hunt small game for themselves, but sharing camps and getting a steady supply of scraps (and mutual playful amusement) from their close association with human camps? This does not preclude some hybridization with local wild wolves, of course, nor does it preclude a later stage of more intense domestication and breed development for special purposes at various times in Eurasia. But it might lend more coherence to the story, and explain why the the people who got to Australia, and the ones who made it to Americas arrived with dogs.
    Dates for domesticated dogs found in the americas go back as far as 12,000 BP (Old Crow) http://canadianarchaeology.com/caa/publications-129 and are found all over North and south America. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1h1946p4#page-1 Humans seem to have a tendency to like having canids around - Darwin found that the hunter-gatherers - the Yaghane in Tierra del Fuego, having lost a source of dogs, had resorted to domesticating the local foxes.

    Anyway it is all fascinating, as you say, and we still have not got to the end of the story by any means.

    I think that we should also consider the fact that the hunter-gatherers who made it to Australia some fifty thousand years ago brought dogs with them.

    No, dingoes arrived much later, probably in the last 10,000 years. See http://australianmuseum.net.au/dingo

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Rick says:
    @Helga Vierich
    Nice essay. I suspect that there are some missing pieces to this story, and that your final comment "the story of man and his best friend exhibit more similarities than we might have thought.” is very apt. I think that we should also consider the fact that the hunter-gatherers who made it to Australia some fifty thousand years ago brought dogs with them. Dingos (and New Guinea “singing” dogs are semi-feral today in many places, but they are definitely within the domestic dog genomic range. they are not as fully “domesticated as many pet dogs today but then that process may have happen recently and rapidly during the last few thousand years. (see “Dingoes, like wolves, are smarter than pet dogs” http://www.physorg.com/news195460315.html )

    This suggests that some kind of perhaps symbiotic association predates the time scale imagined by the authors you have cited here. The hunter gatherers in Africa have dogs (20% of families in my San sample had dogs and another 40% had owned a dog in the past. Meanwhile the ubiquitous African village dog have a high level of genetic diversity:

    "High genetic diversity of East Asian village dogs has recently been used to argue for an East Asian origin of the domestic dog. However, global village dog genetic diversity and the extent to which semiferal village dogs represent distinct, indigenous populations instead of admixtures of various dog breeds has not been quantified. Understanding these issues is critical to properly reconstructing the timing, number, and locations of dog domestication. To address these questions, we sampled 318 village dogs from 7 regions in Egypt, Uganda, and Namibia, measuring genetic diversity >680 bp of the mitochondrial D-loop, 300 SNPs, and 89 microsatellite markers. We also analyzed breed dogs, including putatively African breeds (Afghan hounds, Basenjis, Pharaoh hounds, Rhodesian ridgebacks, and Salukis), Puerto Rican street dogs, and mixed breed dogs from the United States. Village dogs from most African regions appear genetically distinct from non-native breed and mixed-breed dogs, although some individuals cluster genetically with Puerto Rican dogs or United States breed mixes instead of with neighboring village dogs. Thus, African village dogs are a mosaic of indigenous dogs descended from early migrants to Africa, and non-native, breed-admixed individuals. Among putatively African breeds, Pharaoh hounds, and Rhodesian ridgebacks clustered with non-native rather than indigenous African dogs, suggesting they have predominantly non-African origins. Surprisingly, we find similar mtDNA haplotype diversity in African and East Asian village dogs, potentially calling into question the hypothesis of an East Asian origin for dog domestication.
     
    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/33/13903.abstract

    The thing that is curious here is that the domestic dog (including the dingo) is taxonomically a subspecies of the gray wolf. This wild species was previously thought to occur only in Eurasia and North America, and so comparisons with the genomes of extant subspecies of Eurasian wolves and domestic dogs (including the dingo) were done and reported last year. Researchers analyzed the genomes of wolves from three likely sites of domestication (the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe), and found that modern dogs were not more closely related to any of the three. In fact, it seems that the closest wolf ancestors of today's dogs may have gone extinct, leaving no wild descendants.

    "The dogs all form one group, and the wolves all form one group, and there's no wolf that these dogs are more closely related to of the three that we sampled," said study researcher John Novembre, a professor of genetics at the University of Chicago. "That's the big surprise of the study."
     
    so it seems that the ancestral wolf population form which dogs were domesticated has disappeared. http://www.livescience.com/42649-dogs-closest-wolf-ancestors-extinct.html

    They did not, as far as I know, take a look at the grey wolf species living in Africa:

    “New molecular evidence reveals a new species of grey wolf living in Africa. Formerly confused with golden jackals, and thought to be an Egyptian subspecies of jackal, the new African wolf shows that members of the grey wolf lineage reached Africa about 3 million years ago, before they spread throughout the northern hemisphere....A new study, involving a collaboration of biologists from the University of Oslo, Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and Addis Ababa University, has uncovered genetic evidence that unambiguously places the Egyptian jackal within the grey wolf species complex. It is not a jackal, but a wolf, taxonomically grouped with the Holarctic grey wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf. Dr Eli Rueness, the first author of the paper, states that "We could hardly believe our own eyes when we found wolf DNA that did not match anything in GenBank."
    The genetic data indicate that the Indian and Himalayan wolves evolved as separate taxa within the modern wolf cluster even before the grey wolf radiated throughout the northern hemisphere. Furthermore, not only did these two types of wolves originate before grey wolves radiated in northern latitudes, but the wolfish colonization of Africa took place before the grey wolf radiation as well. The colonization of Africa by the ancestral stock of grey wolves took place about 3 million years ago and is today embodied by the animal that has hitherto been called the Egyptian jackal. Professor Claudio Sillero, of the WildCRU and current Chairman of the IUCN's Canid Specialist Group, added that "Ethiopian wolves split off from the grey wolf complex even earlier than the newly discovered African wolf."
    The Oslo/WildCRU/Addis Ababa team also found genetically very similar specimens 2,500 km from Egypt, in the highlands of Ethiopia. Golden jackals are regarded by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as not endangered – a "species of least concern" – but the newly discovered African wolf may be much rarer."

     
    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-01-cryptic-african-wolf-canis-aureus.html#jCp”

    So, now i wonder, what if the AMH hunter-gatherers in Africa, and in passing through northern Africa during their expansion into Eurasia, already were hanging around with dogs.. dogs descended via a domestication bottleneck, from a now vanished African Gray Wolf, a subspecies perhaps of the wild species surviving in small numbers in Ethiopia? What if these animals were at first dingo-like, and hung out with hunter-gatherers because it suited both species?

    I remember the usefulness of the dogs in San camps - they were an early warning system of any predator approach, and they would do this yodelling warning cry. I had a leopard circling the brush fence arounds my camp once and the dogs alerted me - and the neighbouring hunter-gather camp. This was in the very early morning, before dawn, and the dogs drove the leopard off.

    Mostly these dogs hung around and ate scrapes. The even ate discarded leather clothing like old hides and one day watched a young dog systematically consume the hoof of a large antelope that had been killed and distributed to all the families in the camp a few days earlier. The dogs were never taken hunting or anything, although I understand that in other San communities, hunting bush pigs with clubs and digs was sometimes done. Only a few families had breeding bitches and they regularly distributed puppies, but these met various ends (roaming young dogs playing with the children were sometimes picked off by hyaenas, which was counted as better than having a child taken. These dogs tend to bark and gang up on a threatening predator, something which certain breeds like Karelian Bear dogs (and the Inuit’s huskies) are still famous for today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp-eaTbVfLY

    So what if they came with the AMH who expanded out of Africa? What if the animals that came along ARE this mysterious extinct wolf that John November could not find? What if they were more like dingos - able to forage and hunt small game for themselves, but sharing camps and getting a steady supply of scraps (and mutual playful amusement) from their close association with human camps? This does not preclude some hybridization with local wild wolves, of course, nor does it preclude a later stage of more intense domestication and breed development for special purposes at various times in Eurasia. But it might lend more coherence to the story, and explain why the the people who got to Australia, and the ones who made it to Americas arrived with dogs.
    Dates for domesticated dogs found in the americas go back as far as 12,000 BP (Old Crow) http://canadianarchaeology.com/caa/publications-129 and are found all over North and south America. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1h1946p4#page-1 Humans seem to have a tendency to like having canids around - Darwin found that the hunter-gatherers - the Yaghane in Tierra del Fuego, having lost a source of dogs, had resorted to domesticating the local foxes.

    Anyway it is all fascinating, as you say, and we still have not got to the end of the story by any means.

    Dingos certainly did not arrive in Australia with the first humans 50,000 years ago. There is absolutely no basis to that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vijay
    Peter Savolainen of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden says dingo mtDNA sequences indicates an origin ≈5,000 years ago http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC514485/
    , @Helga Vierich
    Thanks to you for that correction... I just read this book The Dingo Debate: Origins, Behaviour and ConservationBy Bradley Smith https://books.google.ca/books?id=j6omCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=dingoes+-+earliest+archaeological+evidence+of+dingoes+in+australia&source=bl&ots=3Zit2hQml-&sig=3LMr-bXHQzw-bLeBC52_v5r6HDI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFUQ6AEwCGoVChMIrYX9zffSyAIVB6KICh3yggmC#v=onepage&q=dingoes%20-%20earliest%20archaeological%20evidence%20of%20dingoes%20in%20australia&f=falseAnd learned that the present theory is that dingos got to Australia with seafaring folks who brought them - probably just a few of them - form New Guinea, between 8000 and 4000 yeas ago. I was wrong about that and I should have looked this up first. I am puzzled by this, since the hunter-gatherers who went to the Americas certainly brought dogs with them, and that was many thousand sod years earlier. There is archaeological evidence for domestic dogs in North American sites from before the onset of the Holocene.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. Vijay says:
    @Rick
    Dingos certainly did not arrive in Australia with the first humans 50,000 years ago. There is absolutely no basis to that.

    Peter Savolainen of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden says dingo mtDNA sequences indicates an origin ≈5,000 years ago http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC514485/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Kosmatka says:
    @Helga Vierich
    Nice essay. I suspect that there are some missing pieces to this story, and that your final comment "the story of man and his best friend exhibit more similarities than we might have thought.” is very apt. I think that we should also consider the fact that the hunter-gatherers who made it to Australia some fifty thousand years ago brought dogs with them. Dingos (and New Guinea “singing” dogs are semi-feral today in many places, but they are definitely within the domestic dog genomic range. they are not as fully “domesticated as many pet dogs today but then that process may have happen recently and rapidly during the last few thousand years. (see “Dingoes, like wolves, are smarter than pet dogs” http://www.physorg.com/news195460315.html )

    This suggests that some kind of perhaps symbiotic association predates the time scale imagined by the authors you have cited here. The hunter gatherers in Africa have dogs (20% of families in my San sample had dogs and another 40% had owned a dog in the past. Meanwhile the ubiquitous African village dog have a high level of genetic diversity:

    "High genetic diversity of East Asian village dogs has recently been used to argue for an East Asian origin of the domestic dog. However, global village dog genetic diversity and the extent to which semiferal village dogs represent distinct, indigenous populations instead of admixtures of various dog breeds has not been quantified. Understanding these issues is critical to properly reconstructing the timing, number, and locations of dog domestication. To address these questions, we sampled 318 village dogs from 7 regions in Egypt, Uganda, and Namibia, measuring genetic diversity >680 bp of the mitochondrial D-loop, 300 SNPs, and 89 microsatellite markers. We also analyzed breed dogs, including putatively African breeds (Afghan hounds, Basenjis, Pharaoh hounds, Rhodesian ridgebacks, and Salukis), Puerto Rican street dogs, and mixed breed dogs from the United States. Village dogs from most African regions appear genetically distinct from non-native breed and mixed-breed dogs, although some individuals cluster genetically with Puerto Rican dogs or United States breed mixes instead of with neighboring village dogs. Thus, African village dogs are a mosaic of indigenous dogs descended from early migrants to Africa, and non-native, breed-admixed individuals. Among putatively African breeds, Pharaoh hounds, and Rhodesian ridgebacks clustered with non-native rather than indigenous African dogs, suggesting they have predominantly non-African origins. Surprisingly, we find similar mtDNA haplotype diversity in African and East Asian village dogs, potentially calling into question the hypothesis of an East Asian origin for dog domestication.
     
    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/33/13903.abstract

    The thing that is curious here is that the domestic dog (including the dingo) is taxonomically a subspecies of the gray wolf. This wild species was previously thought to occur only in Eurasia and North America, and so comparisons with the genomes of extant subspecies of Eurasian wolves and domestic dogs (including the dingo) were done and reported last year. Researchers analyzed the genomes of wolves from three likely sites of domestication (the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe), and found that modern dogs were not more closely related to any of the three. In fact, it seems that the closest wolf ancestors of today's dogs may have gone extinct, leaving no wild descendants.

    "The dogs all form one group, and the wolves all form one group, and there's no wolf that these dogs are more closely related to of the three that we sampled," said study researcher John Novembre, a professor of genetics at the University of Chicago. "That's the big surprise of the study."
     
    so it seems that the ancestral wolf population form which dogs were domesticated has disappeared. http://www.livescience.com/42649-dogs-closest-wolf-ancestors-extinct.html

    They did not, as far as I know, take a look at the grey wolf species living in Africa:

    “New molecular evidence reveals a new species of grey wolf living in Africa. Formerly confused with golden jackals, and thought to be an Egyptian subspecies of jackal, the new African wolf shows that members of the grey wolf lineage reached Africa about 3 million years ago, before they spread throughout the northern hemisphere....A new study, involving a collaboration of biologists from the University of Oslo, Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and Addis Ababa University, has uncovered genetic evidence that unambiguously places the Egyptian jackal within the grey wolf species complex. It is not a jackal, but a wolf, taxonomically grouped with the Holarctic grey wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf. Dr Eli Rueness, the first author of the paper, states that "We could hardly believe our own eyes when we found wolf DNA that did not match anything in GenBank."
    The genetic data indicate that the Indian and Himalayan wolves evolved as separate taxa within the modern wolf cluster even before the grey wolf radiated throughout the northern hemisphere. Furthermore, not only did these two types of wolves originate before grey wolves radiated in northern latitudes, but the wolfish colonization of Africa took place before the grey wolf radiation as well. The colonization of Africa by the ancestral stock of grey wolves took place about 3 million years ago and is today embodied by the animal that has hitherto been called the Egyptian jackal. Professor Claudio Sillero, of the WildCRU and current Chairman of the IUCN's Canid Specialist Group, added that "Ethiopian wolves split off from the grey wolf complex even earlier than the newly discovered African wolf."
    The Oslo/WildCRU/Addis Ababa team also found genetically very similar specimens 2,500 km from Egypt, in the highlands of Ethiopia. Golden jackals are regarded by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as not endangered – a "species of least concern" – but the newly discovered African wolf may be much rarer."

     
    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-01-cryptic-african-wolf-canis-aureus.html#jCp”

    So, now i wonder, what if the AMH hunter-gatherers in Africa, and in passing through northern Africa during their expansion into Eurasia, already were hanging around with dogs.. dogs descended via a domestication bottleneck, from a now vanished African Gray Wolf, a subspecies perhaps of the wild species surviving in small numbers in Ethiopia? What if these animals were at first dingo-like, and hung out with hunter-gatherers because it suited both species?

    I remember the usefulness of the dogs in San camps - they were an early warning system of any predator approach, and they would do this yodelling warning cry. I had a leopard circling the brush fence arounds my camp once and the dogs alerted me - and the neighbouring hunter-gather camp. This was in the very early morning, before dawn, and the dogs drove the leopard off.

    Mostly these dogs hung around and ate scrapes. The even ate discarded leather clothing like old hides and one day watched a young dog systematically consume the hoof of a large antelope that had been killed and distributed to all the families in the camp a few days earlier. The dogs were never taken hunting or anything, although I understand that in other San communities, hunting bush pigs with clubs and digs was sometimes done. Only a few families had breeding bitches and they regularly distributed puppies, but these met various ends (roaming young dogs playing with the children were sometimes picked off by hyaenas, which was counted as better than having a child taken. These dogs tend to bark and gang up on a threatening predator, something which certain breeds like Karelian Bear dogs (and the Inuit’s huskies) are still famous for today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp-eaTbVfLY

    So what if they came with the AMH who expanded out of Africa? What if the animals that came along ARE this mysterious extinct wolf that John November could not find? What if they were more like dingos - able to forage and hunt small game for themselves, but sharing camps and getting a steady supply of scraps (and mutual playful amusement) from their close association with human camps? This does not preclude some hybridization with local wild wolves, of course, nor does it preclude a later stage of more intense domestication and breed development for special purposes at various times in Eurasia. But it might lend more coherence to the story, and explain why the the people who got to Australia, and the ones who made it to Americas arrived with dogs.
    Dates for domesticated dogs found in the americas go back as far as 12,000 BP (Old Crow) http://canadianarchaeology.com/caa/publications-129 and are found all over North and south America. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1h1946p4#page-1 Humans seem to have a tendency to like having canids around - Darwin found that the hunter-gatherers - the Yaghane in Tierra del Fuego, having lost a source of dogs, had resorted to domesticating the local foxes.

    Anyway it is all fascinating, as you say, and we still have not got to the end of the story by any means.

    Helga, great info in that comment. A lot to chew on– particularly this quote: “What if the animals that came along ARE the mysterious extinct wolf that John November could not find?” An interesting idea.

    Reading through all the info in your comment, I looked at that first PCA figure again in Razib’s post, and it struck me that if the first trend line (containing the besenji) was indicative of golden jackal admixture, then then second and third trend lines could represent admixture from the Himalayan wolf and the Indian wolf. Which then leaves the lower left-to-right trend line as drift within the main dog lineage?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. @Rick
    Dingos certainly did not arrive in Australia with the first humans 50,000 years ago. There is absolutely no basis to that.

    Thanks to you for that correction… I just read this book The Dingo Debate: Origins, Behaviour and ConservationBy Bradley Smith https://books.google.ca/books?id=j6omCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=dingoes+-+earliest+archaeological+evidence+of+dingoes+in+australia&source=bl&ots=3Zit2hQml-&sig=3LMr-bXHQzw-bLeBC52_v5r6HDI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFUQ6AEwCGoVChMIrYX9zffSyAIVB6KICh3yggmC#v=onepage&q=dingoes%20-%20earliest%20archaeological%20evidence%20of%20dingoes%20in%20australia&f=falseAnd learned that the present theory is that dingos got to Australia with seafaring folks who brought them – probably just a few of them – form New Guinea, between 8000 and 4000 yeas ago. I was wrong about that and I should have looked this up first. I am puzzled by this, since the hunter-gatherers who went to the Americas certainly brought dogs with them, and that was many thousand sod years earlier. There is archaeological evidence for domestic dogs in North American sites from before the onset of the Holocene.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Doug Jones
    My (non-specialist) thoughts on small tools, and dingoes, and Oz, including language history and genetics. https://logarithmichistory.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/small-tools-and-dingoes-and-oz/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. Doug Jones says: • Website
    @Helga Vierich
    Thanks to you for that correction... I just read this book The Dingo Debate: Origins, Behaviour and ConservationBy Bradley Smith https://books.google.ca/books?id=j6omCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=dingoes+-+earliest+archaeological+evidence+of+dingoes+in+australia&source=bl&ots=3Zit2hQml-&sig=3LMr-bXHQzw-bLeBC52_v5r6HDI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFUQ6AEwCGoVChMIrYX9zffSyAIVB6KICh3yggmC#v=onepage&q=dingoes%20-%20earliest%20archaeological%20evidence%20of%20dingoes%20in%20australia&f=falseAnd learned that the present theory is that dingos got to Australia with seafaring folks who brought them - probably just a few of them - form New Guinea, between 8000 and 4000 yeas ago. I was wrong about that and I should have looked this up first. I am puzzled by this, since the hunter-gatherers who went to the Americas certainly brought dogs with them, and that was many thousand sod years earlier. There is archaeological evidence for domestic dogs in North American sites from before the onset of the Holocene.

    My (non-specialist) thoughts on small tools, and dingoes, and Oz, including language history and genetics. https://logarithmichistory.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/small-tools-and-dingoes-and-oz/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. Halfway through Pat Shipman’s book, and she still hasn’t gotten to the doggies! An excellent and informative read, nonetheless, for someone not in the field. The cover and title must have been the press’s idea.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  11. Emilia says:

    Regarding your last paragraph, about how mtDNA but not Y chromosomes native to the Americas were found in Carolina dogs and Xoloitzcuintlis, do you think that female dogs native to the Americas chose to mate with imported male dogs and abandon their native counterparts (as happened with European men and Native American women in Latin America) or do you think the colonizers deliberately ‘set up’ their own male dogs with native female dogs? I know I’m talking a bit in anthromorphic terms, but that seems to be the only scenario.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  12. It is just so interesting to see these genetic history stories unfold as more data comes in. I am grateful that Razib keeps us posted, I feel like I am weeks behind the latest developments rather than out of loop entirely, thank you.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  13. Henry says:

    Maybe dogs came to Europe from Central Asia with Black Sea region Aryan conquerors? Whites love and connect with dogs. Orientals eat them, while muzzies loath them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Helga Vierich
    Dogs are eaten all over the world. During WWII many people ate their dogs in Germany, for example, (most of the Berlin Zoo was eaten too). Often dogs, like pigs, are eaten as part of a cull when semi-feral packs get too numerous and start causing problems, such as attacking small children. This generally happens with a sedentary human population at higher densities, whereas using dogs for food under starvation conditions is more ubiquitous. Among mobile hunter-gatherers there appears to be fairly high dog mortality due to disease and big cat and bear predation, but in sedentary populations, the incidence of larger predators approaching villages is lowered by the sheer number of semi-feral packs. On Native reserves in Canada all across the north today, there is a tradition of periodic culling of “reserve dogs” even now, although apparently the dogs are not eaten anymore. The Huron certainly ate their dogs during the retreat from the Iroquois. In West African villages in Burkina Faso, when village dogs got too numerous, the tradition was to have a specialist guy come in and do selective culling: his reward was that he could then take the culled animals away and sell them, already dismembered and cooked, in other villages. The use of carrier cycles, while I was in the field there in the eighties, to transport this cooked dog delicacy, was striking. I asked what they did before e the bicycle, and apparently they used to keep the dogs tied up until they got to the outskirts of another village, where the dog would be killed and cooked, for sale the next day.

    Dogs were in Europe long before the “Aryan conquerers” by the way. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440311003499 or the report here http://phys.org/news/2011-10-evidence-domestication-dogs-paleolithic-period.html
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. @Henry
    Maybe dogs came to Europe from Central Asia with Black Sea region Aryan conquerors? Whites love and connect with dogs. Orientals eat them, while muzzies loath them.

    Dogs are eaten all over the world. During WWII many people ate their dogs in Germany, for example, (most of the Berlin Zoo was eaten too). Often dogs, like pigs, are eaten as part of a cull when semi-feral packs get too numerous and start causing problems, such as attacking small children. This generally happens with a sedentary human population at higher densities, whereas using dogs for food under starvation conditions is more ubiquitous. Among mobile hunter-gatherers there appears to be fairly high dog mortality due to disease and big cat and bear predation, but in sedentary populations, the incidence of larger predators approaching villages is lowered by the sheer number of semi-feral packs. On Native reserves in Canada all across the north today, there is a tradition of periodic culling of “reserve dogs” even now, although apparently the dogs are not eaten anymore. The Huron certainly ate their dogs during the retreat from the Iroquois. In West African villages in Burkina Faso, when village dogs got too numerous, the tradition was to have a specialist guy come in and do selective culling: his reward was that he could then take the culled animals away and sell them, already dismembered and cooked, in other villages. The use of carrier cycles, while I was in the field there in the eighties, to transport this cooked dog delicacy, was striking. I asked what they did before e the bicycle, and apparently they used to keep the dogs tied up until they got to the outskirts of another village, where the dog would be killed and cooked, for sale the next day.

    Dogs were in Europe long before the “Aryan conquerers” by the way. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440311003499 or the report here http://phys.org/news/2011-10-evidence-domestication-dogs-paleolithic-period.html

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Razib Khan Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007