In a paper published last week in the journal Science Advances, researchers studied the genomes of 302 of these dogs, which are largely descended from pets that residents left behind as they fled during the disaster . For generations, the animals have lived in the plant itself, slept in abandoned buildings and begged cleanup crews and tourists for scraps.
The scientists discovered that the power plant dogs were genetically distinct from those that lived miles away from the site. Canines dwelling in the plant were more inbred and primarily German shepherds, while the dogs in nearby Chernobyl City and Slavutych, located 9 and 28 miles away from the disaster site, respectively, were more of a mix of modern breeds that resemble dogs elsewhere, writes the Atlantic’s Katherine J. Wu.
Scientists have no evidence yet that radiation caused the genetic differences between the dogs in these different areas, as Jim Smith, an environmental scientist at the University of Portsmouth in England who has studied the Chernobyl accident and did not contribute to the research, tells Science News’ Meghan Rosen. – Will Sullivan (March 8, 2023)
Not too long ago, the hunt was on for “entirely new species” to come from the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown:
Decades after the Soviet-era meltdown drove 60,000 people from their homes in the Ukraine, a rebirth is taking place inside the exclusion zone. With Geiger counter in hand, the author explores Europe’s strangest wildlife refuge, an enchanted post-apocalyptic forest from which entirely new species may soon emerge. – Outside (February 15, 2011)
Thing is, those “new species” have always existed and always will exist — in the human imagination at least.
Meanwhile, it is just the dogs. “Evolution” led them back to your basic dog:
The paper is open access.
3 Replies to “Stray dogs vs “new species” at Chernobyl”
The word “evolution” is just genetics.
ID fully accepts genetics in all its forms. So ID fully accepts “evolution” with a small “e” but not “Evolution” with a capital.
How many words have been wasted on this site conflating the two definitions? My guess, several million.
Understanding is not an objective on this site.
“Scientists have no evidence yet that radiation caused the genetic differences between the dogs”
The differences Emerged, obviously.
One more time genetics disproves “evolution” as it did from the very beginning (Mendel). Radiation has been tried before and hasn’t let to “evolution”. Why would it do now in Chernobyl?