Domestic Dogs

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


Domestic dog is morphologically distinct from all other canids except its close relatives, the wolf-like canids. The earliest burial remains of a domestic dog are 14,000 years old and were found in Bonn-Oberkassel, Germany. Despite their many shapes and sizes all domestic dogs, from Newfoundlands to pugs, are members of the same species-Canis familiaris. Although they have domestic temperaments, these dogs are related to wolves, foxes, and jackals. Many of the behavior traits and body movements or positioning can be applied universally to all canids for example ear positioning, tail positioning, raised hackles, etc. There is considerable similarity between dogs and wild canid species; many wolf-like canids cannot be distinguished from domestic dogs of equivalent size. However, all dogs are consistently separated from fox-sized, wild canids by subtle but evolutionarily significant differences in olecranon, metapodial, and scapula morphology. Second, in domestic dogs the pattern of static allometry is nearly identical to that of ontogenetic allometry. This finding can be attributed to simple heterochronic alterations of postnatal growth rates. Talking about wolves, they have a fairly sophisticated communication system--in both body language and verbal language. ...
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