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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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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blog Reader Dave Messineo providing some excellent "food for thought" regarding a recent Post about domestic Dog evolution----I think Dave makes some very relevant points contesting whether Wolves followed humans or humans followed Wolves as it relates to acquiring food----So which species actually domesticated the other??????????????

Dave Messineo said...
Well it seems to me that we are pretty egotistical to think that the wolf followed humans for our scraps. This probably happened to some degree.

However, I am inclined to believe it was more often the other way around, that humans followed wolves to steal their kills. And of course later used domesticated wolves to aid in our hunting, to bolster our weak predatory senses and skills.

I have seen wolf kills in Northern Yellowstone that were expropriated by grizzlys, with bald eagles, ravens and coyotes waiting their turn to feed. The wolf has the natural hunting skills to find and take down big game that humans do not. Early man would have certainly seen wolf kills as an easy source of food.

I think that even using this hypothesis there are still many scenarios to explain the domestication of dogs eg. leaving them scraps after stealing a wolf kill. Perhaps stealing a wolf pup from a den etc. etc.
November 21, 2013 at 5:03 AM
Blogger Rick Meril said...
Dave.............really think you are insightful in your comments on Dog evolution---Thanks always for your contributions.........Best for a Happy Thanksgiving

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What Mr. Messinio suggests is the common sense theories that existed for years before they got supplanted by the "new" IDIOTIC notion dreamed up by Raymond Coppinger that dogs developed in early agriculture dumps scavenging from humans. How most everyone jumped on this new bandwagon has been a great, irksome peeve to me, mainly because there is ZERO real evidence to back it up(it is just someone's "notion", not even worthy of the term "theory" in my opinion!), AND, it must ignore and/or sweep under the rug mounds of archaeological, anthropological, DNA, and modern evidence regarding wolves, dogs, and humans involved with the phenomenon! I read Coppinger's book, and was APPALLED at the total ignorance regarding wolves, dogs(especially hunting dogs!), and ancient and modern hunter-gatherers that utilized wolves or dogs to assist in hunting, EONS before any agriculture! I could go on and on regarding the ENORMOUS holes in this poorly thought out notion! Having kept and raised and hunted with all manner of canines, including a pack of wolf hybrids, I can verify with personal experience that getting tame, human-raised wolves to cooperatively hunt with you is NO PROBLEM! The PROBLEM, in this modern era, is to try to PREVENT them from hunting anything and everything, like cattle, sheep, housecats, poodles, etc.! Which, of course, is a problem ancient hunter-gatherers did not have! Also, ANY BASIC STUDY of Anthropology reveals that humans throughout history adopt all manner of baby animals-- where ALL of our domesticated animals originated; wolf pups would actually be one of the EASIER ones! Historical accounts of American Indians and Eskimos have only further verified this. And there are PLENTY of really modern accounts of people raising wolves and the amazing associations they have had--the problems they encountered were caused by MODERN CIRCUMSTANCES, NOT the wolves being "savage" or "treacherous" or "undependable". It is NOT wise or easy to raise/keep wolves in captivity in modern times(ancient hunter-gatherers did't keep them as "captives" anyway), but if you remove all the modern problems(tempting livestock, deadly highways, trigger happy neighbors, etc.) it is still possible to experience this most amazing symbiotic relationship that produced our wonderful modern dogs! Luckily, the Coppinger nonsense "theory" is finally dying a deserved death....L.B.