Home
Guest Posts
Print|Text Size: ||
Origin of (Dog) Species
East Asia may not be where it all began.
Village dog near Luxor in Egypt.

Over the weekend, a science writer friend tipped me off to a paper to be published on Monday—“Complex population structure in African village dogs and its implications for inferring dog domestication history.” It was a gloriously sunny weekend, perfect for adventures with Lulu and Renzo, so I gave the paper a skim and managed to underappreciate the implications.

As usual, I left it to The New York Times to translate the “mtDNA haplotype diversity” into Research Undermines Dog Domestication Theory. Now this is something my little English-major brain can get. In short, the researchers' DNA-sampling of African village dogs revealed enormous genetic diversity—roughly the same amount of diversity as found in East Asia dogs. This is important because genetic diversity is closely associated with origin. The researchers aren’t arguing for Africa as the place of domestication but the study helps point the way for additional research involving samples from wolves as well as dogs.

Print

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom.

Order Dog Park Wisdom

Photo by Lisa Wogan.

More in Guest Posts:
12 Houseplants That Are Dangerous to Dogs (and Cats!)
An Unlikely Patient on the Front Lines
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Dog Treats
Cool-weather Tick Alert
NYC Behavior Program Works with Abused Pups
Case to Protect ADA Rights
Valley Fire Dogs in Need
Best in Health: Purebred or Mixed-Breed?
Dog Days of Cleaning
Think Twice about the Fish in Dog Food