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Evolution in Action: The Silver Fox Experiment

il y a 5 ans42.1K views

An experiment running for 50 years in Russia demonstrates how how the wolves could have been domesticated into dogs. In just a few decades, while selecting for a single trait (tameness), experimenters discovered that other traits of the animals were also changing unintentionally, giving them an appearance and temperament much closer to dogs, and very different from the wild foxes.

The experimenters selected for a single trait, low "flight distance" (the distance one can approach the animal before it runs away). Selecting this behavior mimics the natural selection that must have occurred in the ancestral past of dogs. Those with a low flight distance were the ones selected to breed the next generation. The changing traits of the animals that were "dragged along" as a result of selecting for low flight distance were completely unexpected by the experimenters.

Research Observations:
--The silver foxes began to show tame, doglike behaviours like whining to get attention, licking, ta