Evolution of Wolves to Dogs.

How did wolves get to evolve into our friendly companions?

Dog domestication.

Dogs never started out as dogs, they evolved from their ancestors, the wolf. But how did this all happen?

First of all, there is a difference between wolves and dogs. Unlike wolves, dogs are and were domesticated (taming an animal to keep as a pet) by humans. This change caused that dogs and wolves to become two different, but similar, new species.

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It all started with the Gray Wolf.

Everything began with the domestication of the Grey Wolf. Humans would also keep baby cubs as pets! Eventually, as humans would keep wolves and breed them, new breeds of dogs and wolves were created. This explains why there are so many breeds of dogs!

What changed?

Some things that changed and are different between wolves and dogs would be the size and position of the teeth, dental pathologies, and size and proportion of cranial and post cranial elements.

Pathologies: the science of the causes and effects of diseases

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where's the evidence?

Scientists don't have the exact locations on where dogs were domesticated, or when it happened, but there is plenty of evidence! Some places would be in Asia, Europe, Siberia, and more. Scientists have discovered fossils of dog skulls, and used it to see if the skull has changed and if it has been domesticated. Below is a picture of a dog skull that was found in Syberia, and how it shows early signs of dog domestication.
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When did all of this happen?

But that's not all. Here is a picture of a wolf bone, that can show when dogs first started changing.

According to a genetic study of several kinds on dogs and wolves, there was an estimation that said that dogs and wolves diverged between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. Now you have an idea of when all of this started.

Below is a picture of how wolves changed during time, from their ancestors to modern wolves today.

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The Evolution of Wolves into Dogs

Did you know?

There are about 400 breeds of dogs worldwide, but we only recognize 178 of them!