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The First DomesticationHow Wolves and Humans Coevolved$
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Raymond Pierotti and Brandy R Fogg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300226164

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300226164.001.0001

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The Beginnings

The Beginnings

(p.1) Introduction The Beginnings
The First Domestication

Raymond Pierotti

Brandy R. Fogg

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the relationship between humans and wolves. The relationship began as coevolutionary, with the species cooperating at times but also capable of functioning independently. This state of affairs dominated early stages of the relationship between the two species and may have persisted for 20,000 years or longer. In other parts of the world, for example, southern Asia, humans began to shape wolves into clearly domestic forms: animals phenotypically distinct from wolves, especially in body size. This latter process involves various aspects of the wolf gene pool being essentially divided, with many individuals staying true wolves while others changed in form, becoming what people now describe as “dogs” without losing their genetic links to their wolf ancestry or their ability to interbreed with wolves.

Keywords:   wolves, humans, coevolution, domestication, wolf gene pool, dogs, wolf ancestry

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