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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, July 24, 2017

As many of you know, all dogs have the same genetic makeup of Wolves................While there are many theories regarding when man first domesticated some wild wolves into what we now call dogs, most scientists agree that the most social,docile and trusting of Wolves took the most chances coming into ancient peoples camps to scavenge scraps of leftover foodstuffs.................From this association, came our dog breeds of today................New research from Princeton University canid resarcher Bridgett von Holdt and Oregon State's Monique Udell suggests that "mutations in three genes known as GTF2I, GTF2IRD1 and WBSCR17 cause an increase in social behavior in domestic dogs that is usually not seen in Wolves"...... "Interestingly, two of wolves in the study were very social and dog-like in their behavior, while one of the dogs acted quite wolf-like"......... "The team found that the two social wolves had more mutations in these three genes while the wolf-like dog had fewer mutations..........Both Von Holdt and Udell are quick to empathize that since they only studied 18 dogs and 10 gray wolves who had been socialized to people, much more research with a larger sample of both wild and domestic canids will need to be conducted to fully flush out their hypothesis on why dogs so easily "hang" with us humans and vice versa

To read full article, click on this link

Scientists find key 'friendliness' genes that distinguish dogs from wolves
Mira Abed; July 21, 2017
Your dog is basically a super social wolf, and scientists may have found the gene that makes him want to cuddle with you.

Gray Wolves in Yellowstone National Park

A new study shows that friendliness in dogs is associated with the same genes that make some people hyper-social.
The study, published this week in the journal Science Advances, found that structural variations in three genes on chromosome 6 are correlated with how much canines socialize with humans. An analysis of DNA from two dozen animals revealed that these genes look very different in dogs than they do in wolves.
Mutations in the same genes are also linked with a rare developmental disorder in humans called Williams-Beuren Syndrome, or WBS. People with WBS are typically hyper-social, meaning they form bonds quickly and show great interest in other people, including strangers. Other symptoms include developmental and learning disabilities as well as cardiovascular problems.

Dogs just want to be around us,,,,,,,,,,,,,and we just want to be around them
Image result for dog sitting with his master
To Bridgett vonHoldt, who studies canine genetics at Princeton University, some of these traits sounded a lot like the behaviors of domesticated dogs, especially compared with wolves.
For example, dogs like to stay close to humans and gaze at them for longer periods of time than wolves do. Dogs also tend to be less independent in problem-solving when they’re around people, and they retain their affinity for humans throughout their lives.
“Many dogs maintain their puppy-like enthusiasm for social interactions throughout their life, whereas wolves grow out of this behavior and engage in more mature, abbreviated greetings as they age,” said Monique Udell, who studies animal behavior at Oregon State University and co-authored the new study. “One might think of how a young child greets you versus a teenager or adult relative.”
These behaviors are typical of what scientists call domestication syndrome, and researchers have noticed them in other kinds of domesticated animals as well. But they don’t fully understand how the underlying genetic changes develop.

“Everyone wants to find the genes that make dogs different from wolves, and try to understand how domestication changed the genome,” vonHoldt said.
She already had a head start. In 2010, as part of her doctoral research, vonHoldt hadmapped the entire genome of 225 gray wolves and 912 dogs from 85 breeds. There were a few genes that stood out as consistently different between dogs and wolves, especially the WBS gene WBSCR17. But vonHoldt still didn’t have a handle on how those genetic differences were related to behavior.(click on

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