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New-fangled coywolf: “You lookin’ at me?”

We’ve been told over and over that races do not exist among humans because there aren’t hard and fast lines between them. In contrast, we have the Endangered Species Act that is based on the scientific fact that species are cut and dried different.

Except … that this isn’t particularly true for (among other things) three types of animal that ought to be quite familiar to us: dogs, coyotes, and wolves. The federal government long treated the gray wolf as an endangered species, even though many years ago I used to have an obnoxious neighbor whose wolf-dog hybrid eyed my toddler hungrily at the playlot.

In Southern California, coyotes are medium-sized, solitary, and rather furtive. They skulk about with guilty looks on their faces. They can be trouble, but in general they lack Attitude. Yet, in the forested eastern half of the country, scary new coyote-wolf-dog hybrids are evolving that are big enough and self-confident enough to kill large prey, such as deer or folk singers.

From the NYT:

In New England today, trees cover more land than they have at any time since the colonial era. … White-tailed deer are so numerous that they are often considered pests. And an unlikely predator has crept back into the woods, too: what some have called the coywolf. It is both old and new — roughly one-quarter wolf and two-thirds coyote, with the rest being dog.

Old-fashioned furtive coyote: “Just passin’ through …”

The animal comes from an area above the Great Lakes, where wolves and coyotes live — and sometimes breed — together. At one end of this canid continuum, there are wolves with coyote genes in their makeup; at the other, there are coyotes with wolf genes. Another source of genetic ingredients comes from farther north, where the gray wolf, a migrant species originally from Eurasia, resides. “We call it canis soup,” says Bradley White, a scientist at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, referring to the wolf-coyote hybrid population.

The creation story White and his colleagues have pieced together begins during European colonization, when the Eastern wolf was hunted and poisoned out of existence in its native Northeast. A remnant population — “loyalists” is how White refers to them — migrated to Canada. At the same time, coyotes, native to the Great Plains, began pushing eastward and mated with the refugee wolves. Their descendants in turn bred with coyotes and dogs. The result has been a creature with enough strength to hunt the abundant woodland deer, which it followed into the recovering Eastern forests.

Coywolves, or Eastern coyotes, as White prefers to call them, have since pushed south to Virginia and east to Newfoundland. The Eastern coyote is a study in the balancing act required to survive as a medium-size predator in a landscape full of people. It can be as much as 40 percent larger than the Western coyote, with powerful wolflike jaws; it has also inherited the wolf’s more social nature, which allows for pack hunting. (In 2009, a pack of Eastern coyotes attacked and killed a 19-year-old Canadian folk singer named Taylor Mitchell in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.) …

About 20 years ago my wife and I were visiting a huge estate in southern Wisconsin with a Frank Lloyd Wright mansion. I was off with our older son while she was minding the toddler. Suddenly, a beast appeared. Eventually she scared it off. Pure wolves are rare that far south, so it was likely some kind of coywolf with the personality of a wolf.

“We’re kind of privileged in the last 100 years to watch the birth of this entity,” White told me, “and now the evolution of this entity across this North American landscape that we’ve modified.” …

In the mid-20th century, the influential evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr argued that species arise only when individuals become isolated somehow from others of their kind. …

The emergence of the Eastern coyote, however, shows how human activity can break down the barriers that separate species.

… Recent genetic analysis has highlighted, to a degree that is impossible to ignore, the fact that the barriers between species have never been impermeable. As Brendan Kelly, the chief scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, told me: “The dirty secret of biology is that the fundamental unit of science — i.e., species — in fact can’t be adequately defined.”

This hasn’t exactly been a secret over the decades that the Endangered Species Act has shaky conceptual foundations. (Here’s my 2001 article about how the Trump National Los Angeles golf course was crippled by the assumption that the EPA would declare that the California Gnat Catcher was a different species than the Baja Gnat Catcher.)

And yet we somehow deal with the fact that the universe is complex when it comes to species, although not with races.

 
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  1. FASCINATING.

    I spent half an hour the other day trying to formulate a comment (despite many interruptions) on this very point at HBD Chick in response to her observations on the political rejection of scientific theories by scientists.

    The reasons I didn’t become a biologist, though it was my love and I had aptitude for it, included that the field’s use of language in the 1980s and 1990s was so loose and miserable. Consider the deployment of the pathetic fallacy, and other fallacies of causation and attribution, in the earliest discussions of sociobiology. (“Genes are always trying to spread themselves and therefore they choose the path of least resistance….”)

    But the other reason was that I could never get a straight answer from any of my professors in college or grad school about what species was. And I was pretty sure that I wasn’t the exact same species as certain people I observed in Philadelphia and Camden–a few of them right in my own family.

    Soon I hope it will be realized that “species,” like “race,” is just another imprecise Victorian term for something we now have the instrumentation, computer processing power, and math to describe in terms of in- and out-breeding tendencies and the resulting pools of genomic probability, coupled with more or less successful mating strategies. I would hope that the corollary is that it is OK for people to choose which clusters and pools they choose to associate and breed with, rather than all this nonsense about erasing all of evolution to date by the pursuit of suicidal egalitarian social engineering.

    • Replies: @Patrick Boyle
    I saw a interesting article somewhere on the web the other day about twenty different definitions of species. The last one was the best.

    The author who was a taxonomist said any classification was a true species as long as it was made by a taxonomist in good standing. You can't argue with that.
  2. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “Recent genetic analysis has highlighted, to a degree that is impossible to ignore, the fact that the barriers between species have never been impermeable. ”

    I would argue wolves, dogs, and coyotes are different races of big canines.
    If members can interbreed and produce fertile offsprings, they are members of the samespecies.

    If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.

    • Replies: @viking
    semantics races are as different as many animal families
  3. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “Recent genetic analysis has highlighted, to a degree that is impossible to ignore, the fact that the barriers between species have never been impermeable. ”

    p

    I would argue wolves, dogs, and coyotes are different races of big canines.
    If members can interbreed and produce fertile offsprings, they are members of the samespecies.

    If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the races of man should also be called different species
     
    This was Nicholas Wade's point in Before the Dawn, which IMO was a better and somehow... more racist book, than A Troublesome Inheritence.

    If members can interbreed and produce fertile offsprings, they are members of the samespecies.
     
    There are species where it's even less straightforward, like ring species.
  4. Priss Factor [AKA "ethno-americanism"] says:

    http://federaleagent86.blogspot.com/2014/08/iranian-immigration-judge-in-hot-water.html

    Every group emulating the tribal ways of new elites than legal ways of old elites.

    • Replies: @Federale
    Thanks for the mention.
  5. @Anon
    "Recent genetic analysis has highlighted, to a degree that is impossible to ignore, the fact that the barriers between species have never been impermeable. "

    p

    I would argue wolves, dogs, and coyotes are different races of big canines.
    If members can interbreed and produce fertile offsprings, they are members of the samespecies.

    If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.

    the races of man should also be called different species

    This was Nicholas Wade’s point in Before the Dawn, which IMO was a better and somehow… more racist book, than A Troublesome Inheritence.

    If members can interbreed and produce fertile offsprings, they are members of the samespecies.

    There are species where it’s even less straightforward, like ring species.

  6. In the mid-20th century, the influential evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr argued that species arise only when individuals become isolated somehow from others of their kind.

    Well that ought to send Greg Cochran into full blown math nerd rage!!!

  7. In terms of moral foundations people who oppose racism see everyone as individuals within a unitarian whole. Hence divisions are unpalatable to the moral universalist.

    To be honest the ‘human race’ is really a series of overlapping interspecies hybrids, rather than anything tangible. Like the ‘white race’ as used in classical anthropology, its just a convenient handle upon a subset of biodiversity.

    Opponents of race concepts behave as though refusing to label something somehow makes it ‘just skin deep’.

    Hence their conflation of social constructivist and popular notions of race with the properly anthropological, as a way to discredit the latter by a fallacy of definition exploiting ambiguity of meaning.

  8. Moises wrote: “We’re kind of privileged in the last 100 years to watch the birth of this entity,” White told me, “and now the evolution of this entity across this North American landscape that we’ve modified.”

    Hunsdon said: There is a reason that the Big Bad Wolf is a nightmare monster for Europeans. Herds—-or would that be hordes?—-of wolves used to come howling down out of the steppe and occupy towns. For a long, long time in European history, the proposition that man was the apex predator was open to debate. I’d say we’re kind of privileged in the last 100 years that our ancestors put paid to that menace.

    Pretty? Sure wolves are pretty. They’re pretty in the way that God’s perfect killers are often pretty.

  9. As a thought experiment, here is a paragraph from the story with certain key words changed.

    These humans come from an area above the Great Lakes, where blacks and whites live — and sometimes breed — together. At one end of this human continuum, there are blacks with white genes in their makeup; at the other, there are whites with black genes. Another source of genetic ingredients comes from farther south, where the Hispanics, a migrant species originally from Eurasia, reside. “We call it human soup,” says Bradley White.

    The selection above has now changed from scientifically interesting to racist.

  10. In the Southeast, there’re been efforts to reintroduce the red wolf and most of this has happened in the Carolinas. The red wolf is pretty similar to the coy wolf because its genetics are basically in-between a coyote and a wolf, but it displays a few unique features. Basically, agencies and scientists go back and forth about whether to call it a subspecies, a hybrid, or it’s own unique species. The problem with reintroduction efforts is that red wolf colonies tend to breed with coyotes very frequently, so the government agencies always call their efforts failures because they can’t keep the bloodlines pure.

    What tends to make these efforts failures is that coyotes (or more accurately coyote-wolf-dog) hybrids are clearly the most effective mid-sized predators in North America. Unlike pure wolves, coyotes have figured out how to live near humans more effectively by adopting new strategies like flipping from being diurnal to nocturnal, eating small pets, and scavenging garbage. I live within the city limits of Atlanta and every few months there are stories about coyotes making a home in a wooded lot or park and eating small yapper dogs or cats in the leafy and more affluent neighborhoods. Meanwhile, out in the rural areas, you can sometimes hear packs of these beasts howling in unison and they’ve become social enough to work together and hunt larger animals like deer.

    Human settlement tends to create a vacuum among large apex predators because nobody wants to live around bears, wolves, or big cats. That causes herbivores like deer to have a population spike, so something new comes along to fill the niche and move up the food chain.

  11. […] Sailer doesn’t ask whether there are any two human races further apart than wolves and coyotes, because he’s a […]

  12. There are neighboring bird and insect groups that are classified as distinct species despite being genetically identical just because they have different songs

  13. “Coywolves, or Eastern coyotes, as White prefers to call them, have since pushed south to Virginia and east to Newfoundland.”

    Maybe I’m just dumb or something…but how the heck did they get to Newfoundland? Its an island.

    • Replies: @fnn
    My guess is that they cross the ice in the winter.
    , @Bill M
    Canids can swim. Surely you've seen a dog swim before.
  14. It occurs to me they may have meant the mainland (“Labrador”) portion of the Newfoundland & Labrador province of Canada, rather than the actual island of Newfoundland. Although Wikipedia’s map does show Eastern Coyotes to be found on the island itself.

  15. “The dirty secret of biology is that the fundamental unit of science — i.e., species — in fact can’t be adequately defined.”

    I think the vast majority of people are only familiar with the biological species concept i.e. the ability of individuals from different populations to successfully mate and produce fertile offspring, because it’s the species definition that’s most widely used and also it’s the easiest for most people to understand even though it doesn’t work in several scenarios. Most people who aren’t biologists are unlikely to care about that though and have been conditioned by language and casual observation to make a distinction between a tiger and a lion even though according to the biological species concept alone, they are the same species. Conversely, the average person probably doesn’t distinguish between a Bengal and a Siberian tiger or at least doesn’t know the difference because they look more or less the same and yet taxonomists and conservationists do. Of course they can also mate and produce fertile offspring (the tigers not the scientists). This shows that the reality of “species” is actually somewhat fuzzy.

    I think race is also a fuzzy category (although certainly not a warm and fuzzy one) and a lot of people don’t or won’t understand the scientific problems with trying to physically classify humans into large groupings. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to do, but there will always be a level of subjectivity that people should be aware of.

  16. I’m not a biologist, but for many years now I’ve been thinking about the possibility of humans and chimpanzees being interfertile, and I wonder if its possible to breed a human and a chimp especially without any help from reproductive technology. There really isn’t any proof that it hasn’t actually happened from time to time. Just because we don’t have an existing hybrid population doesn’t prove that it never happened because the hybrids would likely be sterile and/or totally unviable from the perspective of evolutionary fitness. I think it would be a good idea to produce a human-chimp hybrid, because it would take ammunition away from leftists who insist that interfertility of two organisms automatically makes them part of the same species.

    • Replies: @EdwardM
    There was a claim made some years ago (sorry, no reference, just my memory) that such a cross had been attempted in China with some degree of success, but that the laboratory was destroyed and the laboratory apes killed during the Cultural Revolution. I suppose there's no likelihood that we will ever know whether that was more than an urban myth.
  17. Anon said, “If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.”

    While perhaps a little too politically incorrect for Steve to state explicitly, it’s pretty clear to people with an understanding of biology and genetics that humans today probably consist of maybe 5-6 different species.

    The current definition of species is simply too strong and too strict to fit the complicated biological reality.

    Consider the two ethnic parings in the United States that require the most and least c-sections. White-father/Asian-mother, and Asian-father/white-mother, respectively. White babies’ heads are simply to large to fit through Asian birth canals. Asian gestation is also about a month longer than white gestation, so when an Asian women has a baby with a white, dolichocephalic head; that head is even bigger at childbirth than that same baby’s head would be in a white women at childbirth.

    If you take away modern medical technology, the c-section, then suddenly Asians and whites have great difficulty reproducing. Asians and whites are clearly different species, even by our current definition of species; this fact only being masked by modern medicine.

    Asians are genetically closer to whites, which means that blacks are also, certainly, a separate species, even though their genetic incompatibilities can be subtler (an inability for mulattoes to receive bone marrow transplants, for example).

    To consider the coywolf phenomena, consider why the coywolf evolved with it’s particular mix. Sure, perhaps that was just determined by chance; coyotes, wolves, and dogs just happened to mate in the right proportions.

    But it’s probably that a pure coyote/wolf mix would be unviable in the wild, or infertile, like tigons, ligers, or mules. Throw in a little bit of domesticated dog, and maybe several genes in the wolf population incompatible with coyotes get replaced with genes that are.

    So while coyotes and wolves may not produce viable offspring, and appear to be different species, throw in a third species, the dog, and the offspring becomes viable and robust. Very likely scenario, but far to complicated for our current, limited, overly strict definition of ‘species.’

    And the reason why is because to address that definition’s inadequacies would completely demolish the leftist concept of all ‘races’ being equal. But the leftists are at least right on one thing: it turns out that race is merely a social construct after all; a social construct that deludes different, genetically incompatible species into thinking that it’s okay to try and breed. Maybe it’ll work out, and you’ll get a coywolf!

    • Replies: @Bill M
    The White Male/Asian Female pairing c-section rate is something like 33%, and the overall average is around 30% in the US. Without modern medicine, the infant mortality rate would obviously be higher across the board. The overall viability rate of WM/AF offspring would be determined by more than just head and pelvic size. Also hybridization tends to mask or cover recessive conditions that would raise the mortality rates of monoracial infants.

    Bone marrow transplants are obviously part of modern medicine, so that wouldn't be relevant for considering reproduction under pre-modern conditions.
    , @Southfarthing
    However "species" gets defined, people ulitimately mean the clusters are "meaningfully different" on "important metrics." But "important metrics" vary depending on the species' role:

    1. For species that are valued for their "biodiversity" itself, like newts, small differences get considered "meaningfully different."

    2. For human clusters, if you have 100 job applicants who have been filtered for IQ and are from various ancestries, you need to evaluate them as individuals. Thus their ancestry in this use-case is not a source of "meaningful difference" from the perspective of capitalists, engineers, and humanists. That's why people strongly believe all humans are the same species.

    , @Bill M
    What we currently label human "races" could be labeled "species". There are animal species that can interbreed and are virtually identical that still get labeled species. "Race" just generally isn't used today to refer to animal groups. It's only used to refer to human groups. There isn't necessarily a difference between the labels. When people say "human race" for example, they mean the same thing as "human species".

    Reproduction isn't really sufficient to determine human races or species groups since hybridization occurred in the past without modern medicine, and I imagine certain hybrids like Latin American mestizos and mulattoes reproduce more using less modern medicine than Latin American whites or Indios.
    , @Anonymous
    Not all Caucasians are dolichocephalic. Going back to Carleton Coon's classification, Alpines were brachycephalic. Also, Asians and Caucasians mixed before the advent of modern medicine. Genetic testing demonstrates this clearly among Central Asians and Uighurs.
  18. @Anon
    "Recent genetic analysis has highlighted, to a degree that is impossible to ignore, the fact that the barriers between species have never been impermeable. "


    I would argue wolves, dogs, and coyotes are different races of big canines.
    If members can interbreed and produce fertile offsprings, they are members of the samespecies.

    If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.

    semantics races are as different as many animal families

  19. @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "Coywolves, or Eastern coyotes, as White prefers to call them, have since pushed south to Virginia and east to Newfoundland."

    Maybe I'm just dumb or something...but how the heck did they get to Newfoundland? Its an island.

    My guess is that they cross the ice in the winter.

  20. @Priss Factor
    http://federaleagent86.blogspot.com/2014/08/iranian-immigration-judge-in-hot-water.html

    Every group emulating the tribal ways of new elites than legal ways of old elites.

    Thanks for the mention.

  21. @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "Coywolves, or Eastern coyotes, as White prefers to call them, have since pushed south to Virginia and east to Newfoundland."

    Maybe I'm just dumb or something...but how the heck did they get to Newfoundland? Its an island.

    Canids can swim. Surely you’ve seen a dog swim before.

  22. Also, I’d like to say that I feel a sense of repulsion to the idea of thinking about different human races as different species and I don’t think it’s a scientifically or socially useful idea either. I’m not accusing anyone here of thinking that or implying that and of course people can say what they want, at least in a forum like this. In a practical sense though at least, it’s the sort of idea that in most cases would end more conversations than start them.

    Similar to the idea (maybe Steve’s) that “ideology makes you stupid,” I think that the government and media’s promotion of certain official racial categories also makes people stupid. Conquistador-Americans as “people of color” is a great example of this. I can’t believe there isn’t more blow-back over that issue. Or people who look completely white but claim racial discrimination because they have Native American status (or want it) even though nobody would be able to distinguish between them and other white people without looking at a family tree or seeing a membership card. I think that one does irritate quite a few people, at least in places where it’s common. And the way “Asian” usually refers to people who look typically East Asian when the category includes South Asians and Central Asians as well. And we are supposed to be culturally sensitive, but when it comes down to Asians all we really have to know is Confucianism and family values. Maybe the Chicanos with their “chino” nicknaming were right after all?

  23. ” I can’t believe there isn’t more blow-back over that issue. Or people who look completely white but claim racial discrimination because they have Native American status (or want it) even though nobody would be able to distinguish between them and other white people without looking at a family tree or seeing a membership card.”

    You should Google Walter White NAACP. He claimed to be “Black” despite having a phenotype that is indistinguishable from other White people.

  24. @Ofaodhagain
    Anon said, "If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.”

    While perhaps a little too politically incorrect for Steve to state explicitly, it’s pretty clear to people with an understanding of biology and genetics that humans today probably consist of maybe 5-6 different species.

    The current definition of species is simply too strong and too strict to fit the complicated biological reality.


    Consider the two ethnic parings in the United States that require the most and least c-sections. White-father/Asian-mother, and Asian-father/white-mother, respectively. White babies' heads are simply to large to fit through Asian birth canals. Asian gestation is also about a month longer than white gestation, so when an Asian women has a baby with a white, dolichocephalic head; that head is even bigger at childbirth than that same baby’s head would be in a white women at childbirth.

    If you take away modern medical technology, the c-section, then suddenly Asians and whites have great difficulty reproducing. Asians and whites are clearly different species, even by our current definition of species; this fact only being masked by modern medicine.

    Asians are genetically closer to whites, which means that blacks are also, certainly, a separate species, even though their genetic incompatibilities can be subtler (an inability for mulattoes to receive bone marrow transplants, for example).


    To consider the coywolf phenomena, consider why the coywolf evolved with it’s particular mix. Sure, perhaps that was just determined by chance; coyotes, wolves, and dogs just happened to mate in the right proportions.

    But it’s probably that a pure coyote/wolf mix would be unviable in the wild, or infertile, like tigons, ligers, or mules. Throw in a little bit of domesticated dog, and maybe several genes in the wolf population incompatible with coyotes get replaced with genes that are.

    So while coyotes and wolves may not produce viable offspring, and appear to be different species, throw in a third species, the dog, and the offspring becomes viable and robust. Very likely scenario, but far to complicated for our current, limited, overly strict definition of ‘species.’

    And the reason why is because to address that definition's inadequacies would completely demolish the leftist concept of all ‘races’ being equal. But the leftists are at least right on one thing: it turns out that race is merely a social construct after all; a social construct that deludes different, genetically incompatible species into thinking that it’s okay to try and breed. Maybe it’ll work out, and you’ll get a coywolf!

    The White Male/Asian Female pairing c-section rate is something like 33%, and the overall average is around 30% in the US. Without modern medicine, the infant mortality rate would obviously be higher across the board. The overall viability rate of WM/AF offspring would be determined by more than just head and pelvic size. Also hybridization tends to mask or cover recessive conditions that would raise the mortality rates of monoracial infants.

    Bone marrow transplants are obviously part of modern medicine, so that wouldn’t be relevant for considering reproduction under pre-modern conditions.

    • Replies: @Ofaodhagain
    Paul:

    'The White Male/Asian Female pairing c-section rate is something like 33%, and the overall average is around 30% in the US."

    I didn't realize the average was that high, but I looked it up and you're right there.

    The difference is that white women (real white women, i.e., not Italians, for example) don't need c-sections, but prefer them. Asian women, on the other hand, require those c-sections. I was a 10-pound baby with a huge head. Had my dad impregnated an Asian as opposed to an Irish women, either she would have required a c-section, or my brain would've been irreversibly damaged during birth (and that probably would have gone unnoticed, or ignored.) That implies, even on the current simplistic definition of species, that Asians and Europeans are not the same species, despite their many genetic similarities.

    Asian women require c-sections to deliver healthy, mixed-raced babies; whereas white women simply prefer them because, well, they're pussies.

    (I was birthed naturally, if you're curious.)


    "Bone marrow transplants are obviously part of modern medicine, so that wouldn’t be relevant for considering reproduction under pre-modern conditions."

    If the definition of 'species' changes depending on whether or not you allow artificial technology, then it's not a particularly useful term. Of course, from a strictly Darwinist perspective, yes, the ability of humans to invent technology that aids reproductive efforts contributes to 'evolutionary fitness,' but that's not particularly germane to my point.

    If the ability of Asians and whites to reproduce together is a product of technology rather than nature, well, we could apply similar technology to all manner of organisms (see: GMO food) and declare species to be irrelevant, as Steve does in the title.

    Instead, I'm arguing that species is still a useful concept, it's just poorly defined, and defined in a manner that coincides with leftist preferences.


    Finally, you've mentioned before here that you're Asian. Surely, it goes without saying that I'm not implying that Asians and whites being separate species implies that I think one is superior to the other or anything that necessarily offends. I'm assuming that you and I both agree that while Asian-white hybrids may be the rage in Asian fashion circles, Asians should breed with Asians and whites should breed with whites. I enjoy the fact that regardless of what whites may or may not be allowed to say in America, that, for example, the Japanese at least can still point this out as they don't have to worry about leftist witch hunts.

  25. “Species” is actually a relic of Aristotelian metaphysics. While modern physics has gone beyond the Aristotelian concepts that had dominated physics for so long, biology is still saddled with them. In Aristotelian metaphysics, species is a fixed, unchanging category with a specific essence. The problem is that as Darwin showed, organisms are created through natural selection, and selective pressures are always operating, changing, and are ultimately unknowable, unpredictable. In a sense, the leftists are closer to the truth when they say that it’s a “social construct”, because human action itself influences selective pressure.

  26. @Bill M
    The White Male/Asian Female pairing c-section rate is something like 33%, and the overall average is around 30% in the US. Without modern medicine, the infant mortality rate would obviously be higher across the board. The overall viability rate of WM/AF offspring would be determined by more than just head and pelvic size. Also hybridization tends to mask or cover recessive conditions that would raise the mortality rates of monoracial infants.

    Bone marrow transplants are obviously part of modern medicine, so that wouldn't be relevant for considering reproduction under pre-modern conditions.

    Paul:

    ‘The White Male/Asian Female pairing c-section rate is something like 33%, and the overall average is around 30% in the US.”

    I didn’t realize the average was that high, but I looked it up and you’re right there.

    The difference is that white women (real white women, i.e., not Italians, for example) don’t need c-sections, but prefer them. Asian women, on the other hand, require those c-sections. I was a 10-pound baby with a huge head. Had my dad impregnated an Asian as opposed to an Irish women, either she would have required a c-section, or my brain would’ve been irreversibly damaged during birth (and that probably would have gone unnoticed, or ignored.) That implies, even on the current simplistic definition of species, that Asians and Europeans are not the same species, despite their many genetic similarities.

    Asian women require c-sections to deliver healthy, mixed-raced babies; whereas white women simply prefer them because, well, they’re pussies.

    (I was birthed naturally, if you’re curious.)

    “Bone marrow transplants are obviously part of modern medicine, so that wouldn’t be relevant for considering reproduction under pre-modern conditions.”

    If the definition of ‘species’ changes depending on whether or not you allow artificial technology, then it’s not a particularly useful term. Of course, from a strictly Darwinist perspective, yes, the ability of humans to invent technology that aids reproductive efforts contributes to ‘evolutionary fitness,’ but that’s not particularly germane to my point.

    If the ability of Asians and whites to reproduce together is a product of technology rather than nature, well, we could apply similar technology to all manner of organisms (see: GMO food) and declare species to be irrelevant, as Steve does in the title.

    Instead, I’m arguing that species is still a useful concept, it’s just poorly defined, and defined in a manner that coincides with leftist preferences.

    Finally, you’ve mentioned before here that you’re Asian. Surely, it goes without saying that I’m not implying that Asians and whites being separate species implies that I think one is superior to the other or anything that necessarily offends. I’m assuming that you and I both agree that while Asian-white hybrids may be the rage in Asian fashion circles, Asians should breed with Asians and whites should breed with whites. I enjoy the fact that regardless of what whites may or may not be allowed to say in America, that, for example, the Japanese at least can still point this out as they don’t have to worry about leftist witch hunts.

    • Replies: @Bill M
    I'm not Asian. Maybe you're thinking of a different Paul who comments here?

    I think Asians, whites, and the other human races could be called species.

    Had your dad impregnated an Asian woman, "you" wouldn't be "you", an Irishman. You would be a mixed-race or mixed-species or whatever you want to call it. Mixed offspring tend towards intermediate traits on average, so on average mixed "you" would not be born with as big a head as you did.

    I don't think white/Asian mixing is only possible with c-sections. White/Asian, or Caucasoid/Mongoloid mixing is probably tied to technology historically, just like virtually everything in human history, but I don't think technology in terms of c-sections, but things like transport technology. Horse riding and wheeled vehicles in Eurasia precipitated contact and mixing. Ocean going ships precipitated contact and mixing between Conquistadors and New World Indians. Etc.

    If Asian Male/White Female pairings result in significantly lower c-sections than monoracial pairings, and thus a random Asian/White pairing results in lower c-section rates than monoracial pairings, then the c-section rates would not be an adequate criteria for distinguishing the 2 races or species, even though they're distinct.
  27. @Ofaodhagain
    Anon said, "If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.”

    While perhaps a little too politically incorrect for Steve to state explicitly, it’s pretty clear to people with an understanding of biology and genetics that humans today probably consist of maybe 5-6 different species.

    The current definition of species is simply too strong and too strict to fit the complicated biological reality.


    Consider the two ethnic parings in the United States that require the most and least c-sections. White-father/Asian-mother, and Asian-father/white-mother, respectively. White babies' heads are simply to large to fit through Asian birth canals. Asian gestation is also about a month longer than white gestation, so when an Asian women has a baby with a white, dolichocephalic head; that head is even bigger at childbirth than that same baby’s head would be in a white women at childbirth.

    If you take away modern medical technology, the c-section, then suddenly Asians and whites have great difficulty reproducing. Asians and whites are clearly different species, even by our current definition of species; this fact only being masked by modern medicine.

    Asians are genetically closer to whites, which means that blacks are also, certainly, a separate species, even though their genetic incompatibilities can be subtler (an inability for mulattoes to receive bone marrow transplants, for example).


    To consider the coywolf phenomena, consider why the coywolf evolved with it’s particular mix. Sure, perhaps that was just determined by chance; coyotes, wolves, and dogs just happened to mate in the right proportions.

    But it’s probably that a pure coyote/wolf mix would be unviable in the wild, or infertile, like tigons, ligers, or mules. Throw in a little bit of domesticated dog, and maybe several genes in the wolf population incompatible with coyotes get replaced with genes that are.

    So while coyotes and wolves may not produce viable offspring, and appear to be different species, throw in a third species, the dog, and the offspring becomes viable and robust. Very likely scenario, but far to complicated for our current, limited, overly strict definition of ‘species.’

    And the reason why is because to address that definition's inadequacies would completely demolish the leftist concept of all ‘races’ being equal. But the leftists are at least right on one thing: it turns out that race is merely a social construct after all; a social construct that deludes different, genetically incompatible species into thinking that it’s okay to try and breed. Maybe it’ll work out, and you’ll get a coywolf!

    However “species” gets defined, people ulitimately mean the clusters are “meaningfully different” on “important metrics.” But “important metrics” vary depending on the species’ role:

    1. For species that are valued for their “biodiversity” itself, like newts, small differences get considered “meaningfully different.”

    2. For human clusters, if you have 100 job applicants who have been filtered for IQ and are from various ancestries, you need to evaluate them as individuals. Thus their ancestry in this use-case is not a source of “meaningful difference” from the perspective of capitalists, engineers, and humanists. That’s why people strongly believe all humans are the same species.

  28. The differences in c-sections are pretty minor: the Asian mother/White father rate is 33.2%, vs. 30% for Americans in general. (The rate for White mother/Asian father is 23%.)

  29. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Coyotes are taking over America:

    “Urban coyotes could be setting the stage for larger carnivores — wolves, bears and mountain lions — to move into cities”, ScienceDaily, 5-Oct-2012.

    “Coyotes are the largest of the mammalian carnivores to have made their way to, and thrived in, urban settings. A researcher estimates that about 2,000 coyotes live in the Chicago metro area…

    …the urban coyote pup survival rate is five times higher than the rate for rural pups. In both environments, humans are the coyotes’ primary predator.”

    An interesting article in, I think it was, Science, not too long ago pointed out that coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, and black bears are the last surviving large predators from the Pleistocene and that they survived because they were all evolved to not be top predators. Makes them cautious, sneaky, prone to hiding, and so on.

  30. @Ofaodhagain
    Anon said, "If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.”

    While perhaps a little too politically incorrect for Steve to state explicitly, it’s pretty clear to people with an understanding of biology and genetics that humans today probably consist of maybe 5-6 different species.

    The current definition of species is simply too strong and too strict to fit the complicated biological reality.


    Consider the two ethnic parings in the United States that require the most and least c-sections. White-father/Asian-mother, and Asian-father/white-mother, respectively. White babies' heads are simply to large to fit through Asian birth canals. Asian gestation is also about a month longer than white gestation, so when an Asian women has a baby with a white, dolichocephalic head; that head is even bigger at childbirth than that same baby’s head would be in a white women at childbirth.

    If you take away modern medical technology, the c-section, then suddenly Asians and whites have great difficulty reproducing. Asians and whites are clearly different species, even by our current definition of species; this fact only being masked by modern medicine.

    Asians are genetically closer to whites, which means that blacks are also, certainly, a separate species, even though their genetic incompatibilities can be subtler (an inability for mulattoes to receive bone marrow transplants, for example).


    To consider the coywolf phenomena, consider why the coywolf evolved with it’s particular mix. Sure, perhaps that was just determined by chance; coyotes, wolves, and dogs just happened to mate in the right proportions.

    But it’s probably that a pure coyote/wolf mix would be unviable in the wild, or infertile, like tigons, ligers, or mules. Throw in a little bit of domesticated dog, and maybe several genes in the wolf population incompatible with coyotes get replaced with genes that are.

    So while coyotes and wolves may not produce viable offspring, and appear to be different species, throw in a third species, the dog, and the offspring becomes viable and robust. Very likely scenario, but far to complicated for our current, limited, overly strict definition of ‘species.’

    And the reason why is because to address that definition's inadequacies would completely demolish the leftist concept of all ‘races’ being equal. But the leftists are at least right on one thing: it turns out that race is merely a social construct after all; a social construct that deludes different, genetically incompatible species into thinking that it’s okay to try and breed. Maybe it’ll work out, and you’ll get a coywolf!

    What we currently label human “races” could be labeled “species”. There are animal species that can interbreed and are virtually identical that still get labeled species. “Race” just generally isn’t used today to refer to animal groups. It’s only used to refer to human groups. There isn’t necessarily a difference between the labels. When people say “human race” for example, they mean the same thing as “human species”.

    Reproduction isn’t really sufficient to determine human races or species groups since hybridization occurred in the past without modern medicine, and I imagine certain hybrids like Latin American mestizos and mulattoes reproduce more using less modern medicine than Latin American whites or Indios.

  31. “whereas white women simply prefer them because, well, they’re pussies.”

    Not so much. Vaginal birth after Caesarean was gaining in acceptance in the 90s. (I know, because I am a White woman who in 1995 VBAC birthed a healthy bruiser of a nine-pound baby boy with a ginormous head. Took me 46 hours of bar-bending labor, but I got the job done.) Nowadays, hospital births attended by OB-GYNs are rapidly returning to once-a-caesarean-always-a-caesarean. This is, again, driven by the hospitals and OBs fearful of ruinous lawsuits, not due to requests by women. (As shown by the fact the first Caesarean rates have not increased since 2005, and the increase is driven by the reluctance of OBs to allow VBAC. See link.)

    http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10554

    http://www.awha.com/vaginal-delivery-after-c-section-vbac.html
    Quote:
    seems that our office is getting more and more inquiries from prospective OB patients regarding our willingness to support them in having a vaginal delivery after a previous c-section. Apparently they are finding some obstetricians who are not open to VBAC. A lot has been written recently about the risks associated with this form of delivery.
    VBACs are currently chosen less than 10 percent of the time, down from a rate of 28 percent in 1996. Obstetricians began to change their practices after a handful of studies found that women who had a VBAC had slightly higher risks of uterine rupture, which in 6 percent of cases results in the baby’s death.

  32. @Ofaodhagain
    Paul:

    'The White Male/Asian Female pairing c-section rate is something like 33%, and the overall average is around 30% in the US."

    I didn't realize the average was that high, but I looked it up and you're right there.

    The difference is that white women (real white women, i.e., not Italians, for example) don't need c-sections, but prefer them. Asian women, on the other hand, require those c-sections. I was a 10-pound baby with a huge head. Had my dad impregnated an Asian as opposed to an Irish women, either she would have required a c-section, or my brain would've been irreversibly damaged during birth (and that probably would have gone unnoticed, or ignored.) That implies, even on the current simplistic definition of species, that Asians and Europeans are not the same species, despite their many genetic similarities.

    Asian women require c-sections to deliver healthy, mixed-raced babies; whereas white women simply prefer them because, well, they're pussies.

    (I was birthed naturally, if you're curious.)


    "Bone marrow transplants are obviously part of modern medicine, so that wouldn’t be relevant for considering reproduction under pre-modern conditions."

    If the definition of 'species' changes depending on whether or not you allow artificial technology, then it's not a particularly useful term. Of course, from a strictly Darwinist perspective, yes, the ability of humans to invent technology that aids reproductive efforts contributes to 'evolutionary fitness,' but that's not particularly germane to my point.

    If the ability of Asians and whites to reproduce together is a product of technology rather than nature, well, we could apply similar technology to all manner of organisms (see: GMO food) and declare species to be irrelevant, as Steve does in the title.

    Instead, I'm arguing that species is still a useful concept, it's just poorly defined, and defined in a manner that coincides with leftist preferences.


    Finally, you've mentioned before here that you're Asian. Surely, it goes without saying that I'm not implying that Asians and whites being separate species implies that I think one is superior to the other or anything that necessarily offends. I'm assuming that you and I both agree that while Asian-white hybrids may be the rage in Asian fashion circles, Asians should breed with Asians and whites should breed with whites. I enjoy the fact that regardless of what whites may or may not be allowed to say in America, that, for example, the Japanese at least can still point this out as they don't have to worry about leftist witch hunts.

    I’m not Asian. Maybe you’re thinking of a different Paul who comments here?

    I think Asians, whites, and the other human races could be called species.

    Had your dad impregnated an Asian woman, “you” wouldn’t be “you”, an Irishman. You would be a mixed-race or mixed-species or whatever you want to call it. Mixed offspring tend towards intermediate traits on average, so on average mixed “you” would not be born with as big a head as you did.

    I don’t think white/Asian mixing is only possible with c-sections. White/Asian, or Caucasoid/Mongoloid mixing is probably tied to technology historically, just like virtually everything in human history, but I don’t think technology in terms of c-sections, but things like transport technology. Horse riding and wheeled vehicles in Eurasia precipitated contact and mixing. Ocean going ships precipitated contact and mixing between Conquistadors and New World Indians. Etc.

    If Asian Male/White Female pairings result in significantly lower c-sections than monoracial pairings, and thus a random Asian/White pairing results in lower c-section rates than monoracial pairings, then the c-section rates would not be an adequate criteria for distinguishing the 2 races or species, even though they’re distinct.

  33. East Asian babies average slightly larger heads at birth than White babies:

    http://openi.nlm.nih.gov/detailedresult.php?img=2668913_gnes119-692-f5&req=4

  34. @Paul,

    “If Asian Male/White Female pairings result in significantly lower c-sections than monoracial pairings, and thus a random Asian/White pairing results in lower c-section rates than monoracial pairings, then the c-section rates would not be an adequate criteria for distinguishing the 2 races or species, even though they’re distinct.”

    Incorrect, and not just because Asian-male/white-female relationships are so rare.

    Without c-sections, and with a white mother and Asian father, you’d see offspring somewhat similar to the average of each parent.

    Without c-sections, but with an Asian mother and white father, the offspring are going to be of lower intelligence than you’d otherwise expect.

    So when you sum up the results of both types of pairings, they don’t cancel out as you’re assuming; you still have less intelligent babies than would be expected purely on genetics because Asian moms simply can’t birth smart whites.

    @seidman:

    Asians have rounder heads, rather than dolichocephalic heads. It’s the that football shape of white craniums that necessitates the c-sections in Asians, not the volume.

    @JSM:

    Thanks, apologies for sounding rather condescending. Your son’s birth sounds like my birth. Unfortunately due to some timing mishap, they were unable to administer my mother any painkillers until after the delivery! Ouch.

    • Replies: @Bill M
    The study measured head circumference. It's head size that determines difficulty of birth. All babies are born with round heads. It's an infantile trait that tends to be retained by East Asians into maturity. Dolichocephaly among white babies is abnormal. If dolichocephaly in a white baby is picked up during the screening of a pregnancy, it's due to abnormalities such as low amniotic fluid or breech position. In such cases, the pregnancy has to be monitored to see that the head evens and rounds out before birth. If it doesn't, surgery is required after birth. Dolichocephaly results from the sagittal sutures being closed too early and it leads to developmental disabilities.
  35. Ducks don’t give a sh*t about species barriers:

    http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-biology/waterfowl-hybrids

    Waterfowl crossbreed more often than any other family of birds. Scientists have recorded more than 400 hybrid combinations among waterfowl species. Mallards crossbreed with nearly 50 other species, and wood ducks hybridize with a surprising 26 other species. Nearly 20 percent of waterfowl hybrid offspring are capable of reproducing.

  36. @Ofaodhagain
    @Paul,

    "If Asian Male/White Female pairings result in significantly lower c-sections than monoracial pairings, and thus a random Asian/White pairing results in lower c-section rates than monoracial pairings, then the c-section rates would not be an adequate criteria for distinguishing the 2 races or species, even though they’re distinct."

    Incorrect, and not just because Asian-male/white-female relationships are so rare.

    Without c-sections, and with a white mother and Asian father, you'd see offspring somewhat similar to the average of each parent.

    Without c-sections, but with an Asian mother and white father, the offspring are going to be of lower intelligence than you'd otherwise expect.

    So when you sum up the results of both types of pairings, they don't cancel out as you're assuming; you still have less intelligent babies than would be expected purely on genetics because Asian moms simply can't birth smart whites.

    @seidman:

    Asians have rounder heads, rather than dolichocephalic heads. It's the that football shape of white craniums that necessitates the c-sections in Asians, not the volume.

    @JSM:

    Thanks, apologies for sounding rather condescending. Your son's birth sounds like my birth. Unfortunately due to some timing mishap, they were unable to administer my mother any painkillers until after the delivery! Ouch.

    The study measured head circumference. It’s head size that determines difficulty of birth. All babies are born with round heads. It’s an infantile trait that tends to be retained by East Asians into maturity. Dolichocephaly among white babies is abnormal. If dolichocephaly in a white baby is picked up during the screening of a pregnancy, it’s due to abnormalities such as low amniotic fluid or breech position. In such cases, the pregnancy has to be monitored to see that the head evens and rounds out before birth. If it doesn’t, surgery is required after birth. Dolichocephaly results from the sagittal sutures being closed too early and it leads to developmental disabilities.

  37. @Ofaodhagain
    Anon said, "If dogs, wolves, and coyotes are different species, then the races of man should also be called different species.”

    While perhaps a little too politically incorrect for Steve to state explicitly, it’s pretty clear to people with an understanding of biology and genetics that humans today probably consist of maybe 5-6 different species.

    The current definition of species is simply too strong and too strict to fit the complicated biological reality.


    Consider the two ethnic parings in the United States that require the most and least c-sections. White-father/Asian-mother, and Asian-father/white-mother, respectively. White babies' heads are simply to large to fit through Asian birth canals. Asian gestation is also about a month longer than white gestation, so when an Asian women has a baby with a white, dolichocephalic head; that head is even bigger at childbirth than that same baby’s head would be in a white women at childbirth.

    If you take away modern medical technology, the c-section, then suddenly Asians and whites have great difficulty reproducing. Asians and whites are clearly different species, even by our current definition of species; this fact only being masked by modern medicine.

    Asians are genetically closer to whites, which means that blacks are also, certainly, a separate species, even though their genetic incompatibilities can be subtler (an inability for mulattoes to receive bone marrow transplants, for example).


    To consider the coywolf phenomena, consider why the coywolf evolved with it’s particular mix. Sure, perhaps that was just determined by chance; coyotes, wolves, and dogs just happened to mate in the right proportions.

    But it’s probably that a pure coyote/wolf mix would be unviable in the wild, or infertile, like tigons, ligers, or mules. Throw in a little bit of domesticated dog, and maybe several genes in the wolf population incompatible with coyotes get replaced with genes that are.

    So while coyotes and wolves may not produce viable offspring, and appear to be different species, throw in a third species, the dog, and the offspring becomes viable and robust. Very likely scenario, but far to complicated for our current, limited, overly strict definition of ‘species.’

    And the reason why is because to address that definition's inadequacies would completely demolish the leftist concept of all ‘races’ being equal. But the leftists are at least right on one thing: it turns out that race is merely a social construct after all; a social construct that deludes different, genetically incompatible species into thinking that it’s okay to try and breed. Maybe it’ll work out, and you’ll get a coywolf!

    Not all Caucasians are dolichocephalic. Going back to Carleton Coon’s classification, Alpines were brachycephalic. Also, Asians and Caucasians mixed before the advent of modern medicine. Genetic testing demonstrates this clearly among Central Asians and Uighurs.

  38. […] Species Do Not Exist – “[T]he Endangered Species Act has shaky conceptual foundations…. And yet we somehow deal with the fact that the universe is complex when it comes to species, although not with races.” – from steve sailer. see also Should You Fear the Pizzly Bear? h/t werner jensen! […]

  39. @DissidentMan
    I'm not a biologist, but for many years now I've been thinking about the possibility of humans and chimpanzees being interfertile, and I wonder if its possible to breed a human and a chimp especially without any help from reproductive technology. There really isn't any proof that it hasn't actually happened from time to time. Just because we don't have an existing hybrid population doesn't prove that it never happened because the hybrids would likely be sterile and/or totally unviable from the perspective of evolutionary fitness. I think it would be a good idea to produce a human-chimp hybrid, because it would take ammunition away from leftists who insist that interfertility of two organisms automatically makes them part of the same species.

    There was a claim made some years ago (sorry, no reference, just my memory) that such a cross had been attempted in China with some degree of success, but that the laboratory was destroyed and the laboratory apes killed during the Cultural Revolution. I suppose there’s no likelihood that we will ever know whether that was more than an urban myth.

    • Replies: @Bill M
    A similar story that always pops up is that Stalin wanted to create man-ape hybrids that would be super soldiers or something and that the USSR actually worked on this. I have no idea if this story is true or if it's just an urban legend.

    Incidentally, there's a European right-wing thinker named Guillaume Faye who's popular in the Alternative Right. He wrote a book a few years ago called Archaeofuturism in which he outlines a favorable possible right-wing future and plan for Europe after the left has been defeated. One of his ideas is about developing "chimeras", or man-animal hybrids, “para-human living creatures” for which there'd be “countless applications”.
  40. @EdwardM
    There was a claim made some years ago (sorry, no reference, just my memory) that such a cross had been attempted in China with some degree of success, but that the laboratory was destroyed and the laboratory apes killed during the Cultural Revolution. I suppose there's no likelihood that we will ever know whether that was more than an urban myth.

    A similar story that always pops up is that Stalin wanted to create man-ape hybrids that would be super soldiers or something and that the USSR actually worked on this. I have no idea if this story is true or if it’s just an urban legend.

    Incidentally, there’s a European right-wing thinker named Guillaume Faye who’s popular in the Alternative Right. He wrote a book a few years ago called Archaeofuturism in which he outlines a favorable possible right-wing future and plan for Europe after the left has been defeated. One of his ideas is about developing “chimeras”, or man-animal hybrids, “para-human living creatures” for which there’d be “countless applications”.

  41. In the mid-20th century, the influential evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr argued that species arise only when individuals become isolated somehow from others of their kind.

    Mayr also saw the species as a small gene pool protected from too much variability by a reproductive barrier. In other words, the species is a population adapted to a certain niche, and if the members of different species could interbreed with each other, too much genetic variability would occur, reducing the success of the adaptations.

    The basic biological purpose of the species,” said Mayr, “is the protection of a harmonious gene pool.”

  42. @Olorin
    FASCINATING.

    I spent half an hour the other day trying to formulate a comment (despite many interruptions) on this very point at HBD Chick in response to her observations on the political rejection of scientific theories by scientists.

    The reasons I didn't become a biologist, though it was my love and I had aptitude for it, included that the field's use of language in the 1980s and 1990s was so loose and miserable. Consider the deployment of the pathetic fallacy, and other fallacies of causation and attribution, in the earliest discussions of sociobiology. ("Genes are always trying to spread themselves and therefore they choose the path of least resistance....")

    But the other reason was that I could never get a straight answer from any of my professors in college or grad school about what species was. And I was pretty sure that I wasn't the exact same species as certain people I observed in Philadelphia and Camden--a few of them right in my own family.

    Soon I hope it will be realized that "species," like "race," is just another imprecise Victorian term for something we now have the instrumentation, computer processing power, and math to describe in terms of in- and out-breeding tendencies and the resulting pools of genomic probability, coupled with more or less successful mating strategies. I would hope that the corollary is that it is OK for people to choose which clusters and pools they choose to associate and breed with, rather than all this nonsense about erasing all of evolution to date by the pursuit of suicidal egalitarian social engineering.

    I saw a interesting article somewhere on the web the other day about twenty different definitions of species. The last one was the best.

    The author who was a taxonomist said any classification was a true species as long as it was made by a taxonomist in good standing. You can’t argue with that.

  43. Re Mr. O’Keef’s comment:”but how the heck did they get to Newfoundland? Its an island.”

    Suffolk County, Long Island now has had several coyote sightings (at least one confirmed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation). The latest theory is that they migrated from the mainland via a railroad bridge.
    I certainly hope that the animals appearing on LI are true coyotes , rather than the wolf/dog/coyote mix…we have seen both types up here in the area west of Syracuse, NY (a near-twin to the wolf/coyote mix pictured at the top of Mr. Sailor’s article was in the woods in our backyard a year or so ago, in daylight, and quite fearless). The coyotes are much smaller than the wolf mix, and very shy. The wolf mix in our backyard was the size of a small shepard dog…I would guess at least 70 pounds.
    Long Island has a huge problem with deer overpopulation, though. Maybe this will be the solution, at least until it becomes clear that coyotes are a danger to humans.

  44. […] Species do not exist. Related: Does race exist? Does culture? […]

  45. I’d assumed it was a man who was killed, how horrifying the story was.

    Wolves take down large prey by biting on the upper lip, but real wolves are terrified of humans, and will always fear them. Even if the owner says it is OK, never try to pat a wolf dog hybrid, it is quite likely to bite your face. I think there was more happened than that girl running, the coyote hybrids probably circled and harassed her for a while, she probably didn’t realise the danger at first.

    Re ‘ looking at me’. One look into those small triangular eyes and one instinctively knows this is a wild animal not a just a funny looking dog . Conversely the eyes of a King Charles spaniel (the least likely dog to bite a human) are big and round.

    If the intermediates are less viable, they are two good species.

    Here is an interesting one, Bonobos and Chimps. Bonobos exhibit “unapologetic homosexuality …a general sense of hippie-like shamelessness pervading bonobo social life. ” They and peaceful and have a matriarchal society. Chimps are thuggish. “Bonobos never rape or pillage. No murder. No infanticide. No war.” But, adult male Bonobos engage in sexual activity with Bonobo infants.

  46. ” I used to have an obnoxious neighbor whose wolf-dog hybrid eyed my toddler hungrily at the playlot.”

    You were the inspiration for Burt Reynolds’s character in Deliverance.

  47. […] Except … that this isn’t particularly true for (among other things) three types of animal that ought to be quite familiar to us: dogs, coyotes, and wolves. The federal government long treated the gray wolf as an endangered species, even though many years ago I used to have an obnoxious neighbor whose wolf-dog hybrid eyed my toddler hungrily at the play lot… […]

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