New Horizons in Science

presented by

Rethinking the origins of dogs

Topic: Genetics and Behavior
Australian blue healer dog at play
public Domain
Sunday, November 3, 2013 -
1:45pm to 2:30pm
Century Ballroom A

However popular, useful and abundant they are, dogs hold many mysteries. For one thing, just how did they come to be? Clive Wynne has been traveling the world to re-examine evidence supporting two dominant ideas: the “hunter’s helper” and “dumpster diver” theories. Wynne, who conducts behavioral research with both dogs and wolves, focuses on such issues as how the first dogs achieved the reproductive isolation needed to create a canid subspecies. Behavioral and genetic details revealed by recent research on dogs and wolves, he says, call for revising the story of this “obligatory symbiont.” It's likely the ancestors of dogs effectively domesticated themselves, jolted along their way by genetic accident.


About CASW

The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing is committed to improving the quality and quantity of science news reaching the public. Directed and advised by distinguished journalists and scientists, CASW develops and funds programs that encourage accurate and informative writing about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment.

Follow CASW