This female wolf has made a living for herself in Brașov, Romania– a major urban center.
I post this video to tear apart this poorly considered theory, which holds that domestic dog isn’t derived from the wolf.
The crux of that theory is that wolves cannot live near humans without causing trouble.
And while wolves can and do cause problems, not all of them do– as this wolf clearly demonstrates.
As for the genetic “evidence” in that theory, we have a very poor picture of the genetics of ancient wolf populations. Many ancient wolves have been found to have totally unique MtDNA haplotypes. The Alaskan bone crushers and the wolves that lived in Europe 30,000 to 40,000 years ago had unique MtDNA haplotypes that have not been found in living wolf populations.
That could explain why there is such a gap between dog and wolf MtDNA sequences.
However, the piece doesn’t discuss how big the differences are.
Wolf and dog MtDNA haplotypes vary at most by 0.2 percent.
Knowing what I know abut wild canid behavior, it would make more sense that the dhole would have been the ancestor of the domestic dog. It is more socially tolerant than wolves are. In fact, it is not unusual for pariah dogs to run with packs of dholes.
But the dhole cannot hybridize with the dog.
The wolf can, and wolfdogs are quite fertile.
Wolf can and do attack people, but it’s not like this is a universal trait. To say that we couldn’t domesticate the wolf because some wolves consider us prey is a bit laughable. The truth is that wolves are intelligent animals that vary in their temperament and life experience. Some wolves may decide that people are prey. Others may decide to scavenge off of us.
With wolves, the worst thing we can do is try to make broad generalizations about them. So much of their behavior is learned that what may be true for one wolf or one population of wolves may simply not be true for others.
Dogs are derived from wolves that learned to work together and live with humans. They not derived from some unknown mystery canid that has yet to be identified.
We do not know the exact ancestor of the domestic sheep. We also don’t know one of the ancestors of the domestic donkey.
But we do know where dogs came from.
This alternative theory is full of gaps. Every claim in it can easily be refuted. The fact that is presented as if there is a great conspiracy theory to claim that dogs are wolves makes it even more annoying.
You may not consider dogs to be the same species as the wolf, but it is pretty clear that dogs was derived from ancient wolves.
It’s that simple.
The overwhelming evidence in the form of genetics, archeology, and animal behavior suggests that the wolf is the dog’s ancestor.
Not a conspiracy theory at all.
It’s a reality theory.
And in science, to refute such overwhelming evidence requires an extraordinary amount of proof that this evidence is wrong.
I’ve not seen it here.