Carbs were key in wolves’ evolution into dogs


Most people can probably recognise that our love of bread, potatoes and any other carbohydrate heavy foods will have had an effect on human evolution, but now scientists are beginning to understand how it could have shaped the evolution of dogs as well.

It’s well known that dogs are the domesticated close relatives of wolves. It is generally considered that this must have occurred as wolves took advantage of the easy food source of waste food left by humans. This food would have been a very different composition of nutrients compared to a traditional wolf diet with far more carbohydrates from roots, bread and porridge than they normally would have got.

A report published in Nature this week compared the DNA of 12 gray wolves with 60 dogs (including 14 different breeds) and found there were key differences which allowed dogs to digest carbohydrates far more easily. The presence of changes to starch and sugar-processing genes would have allowed early dogs to make the most of the scraps they could scavenge from human settlements, helping them to thrive despite abandoning the pack lifestyle.

What’s really interesting about this study is not necessarily the study itself but rather the questions that it has led to. The study itself suggests that the domestication of dogs was a form of selection as the canines which were already able to easily digest carbohydrates were able to survive easier apart from the pack and consequentially became domesticated. While other scientists have suggested that these genes may have become adapted after the domestication of dogs as the carb heavy diet promoted the specialisation of the carbohydrate digestion genes. So rather like the question of which came first the chicken or the egg, science now has a different question to ponder, which came first domestication or the genes? JB



  1. Jene Wertz says:

    Love these! Are any for sale?

  2. Michelle says:

    Breathtaking! Love ❤ So very beautiful!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    in Michigan goes across the sky horizontally not vertically.

  4. Andrea says:

    Amazing photos.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love how your click image is form #cosmos on Fox and you didn’t even bother to hide the watermark you used to make it look like the probe took the photos from IN the Jupiter atmosphere.

    • Cleo Cat says:

      yep, thought the same thing. pretty obvious, but still the article did surprisingly have some interesting details.

  6. Mark Bracken says:


  7. Marilyn Kinsella says:

    Learn something new everyday. Never heard of these – fascinating, beautiful, inspiring and downright awesome.

  8. Halina Biernacki says:

    Yes, these are stunning pic’s …. however, due to the development “doctoring” technology … how much of this is real?

  9. Lill ashakara says:

    Amazing, beautiful. Thank you, it made my day.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Miles Hebert for such amazing photos and making my day just a little more enriched. I have not seen these mice before, learn something new every day! Thanks, Miles!

  11. Angie says:

    Hi I have seen a photo of a field mouse sleeping in a purple tulip b,4 on FB. So cute I love these photos of these little miceys. It must be a lovely experience for you to see nature at its finest. And to capture such an event. With your eyes through your camera. Envy. From Angie ☺

  12. scott says:

    Beautiful. Who painted them?

  13. Wanda says:

    Churning storms make it look like the tie dye planet

  14. Anonymous says:

    and were not united with universe hahaha

  15. Anonymous says:

    That’s some beautiful fake bullshit right there.

  16. Lyn Hoffmann says:

    Yhese are NOT fake – we see clouds just like these in Australia – just because some people haven’t aactually seen them, does not mean they are fake, becaue they are NOT!

best of posts sosyogundem