Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 1:45pm to 2:30pm
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.