Joined: Oct. 2005
watching this on PBS right now
|NATURE's two-part special DOGS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD tells the epic story of the wolf's evolution, how "man's best friend" changed human society and how we in turn have radically transformed dogs. Part one, "The Rise of the Dog," airs Sunday, January 13 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS. Part two, "Dogs by Design," airs Sunday, January 20 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings for both broadcasts).|
From the tiniest Chihuahua to the powerful and massive English Mastiff, modern domesticated dogs come in a bewildering array of shapes and sizes, with an equally diverse range of temperaments and behaviors. And yet, according to genetics, all dogs evolved from the savage and wild wolf -- in a transformation that occurred just 15,000 years ago.
In THE RISE OF THE DOG, you'll learn about how the domestication of dogs might have taken place, including the theory of biologist Raymond Coppinger that it was the animals themselves -- and human trash -- that inspired the transformation. The genetic analysis of Peter Savolainen of the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden has placed the origins of domesticated dogs -- and those of the first dog -- in East Asia. You'll also discover 14 dog breeds that controversial genetic studies show are the most ancient -- and the best living representatives of the ancestors to all living dogs.
Dogs That Changed the World: Dogs by Design
Airs January 20th, 8PM ET on PBS (check local listings)
Over 400 breeds of dog are recognized around the world, each unique for its personality, habits, and form. Most of these breeds exploded onto the scene over the past 150 years, spurred by the Victorian-era passion for the "dog fancy" -- the selective breeding of dogs to enhance particular characteristics. By tinkering with its genetics, humans made the dog the most varied animal species on the planet -- and also created a host of hereditary health problems.
Despite the plethora of new shapes and sizes, dogs have retained the instincts bred into their ancestors by thousands of years of work: the urge to herd or hunt, to dig and to guard. In DOGS BY DESIGN you'll discover how these hard-wired behaviors help different types of dogs, from hounds to herders, excel at different tasks (and why it can sometimes be so difficult to train them to do otherwise). You'll also learn how dogs' finely tuned senses are serving humans and saving lives.
View the Production Credits for DOGS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD Part one, "The Rise of the Dog."
View the Production Credits for DOGS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD Part two, "Dogs By Design."
Web content for DOGS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD was originally posted April 2007.
Really interesting. And they don't tiptoe around evolution to protect the feelings of creationist numbskulls.