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Could dingo help unravel mystery of how dogs become tame?


From Kacey Deamer at LiveScience:

The wild-born, pure Australian desert dingo recently took first place in the World’s Most Interesting Genome competition, and will have her DNA decoded thanks to the Pacific Biosciences SMRT Grant Program. The grant provides genome sequencing for “a particularly fascinating plant or animal.”

“Sandy is truly a gift to science. As a rare, wild-born pure dingo, she provides a unique case study,” Ballard, who submitted the bid to sequence Sandy’s DNA, said in a statement. “Pure dingoes are intermediate between wild wolves and domestic dogs, with a range of non-domesticated traits. So sequencing Sandy’s genome will help pinpoint some of the genes for temperament and behavior that underlie the transition from wild animals to perfect pets.” More.

It’s a question worth researching. Why do kittens and puppies raised with humans simply become tame but wolves and bobcats typically don’t—or not really, anyway? Part of the answer might indeed lie in genetics.

See also: Dogs domesticated twice in different regions


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