Why do dogs gain twice as much weight in 6,000 years?

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The evolutionary history of man is closely linked to that of the dog, both biologically and culturally. The first clues to domestication of these canids go back more than 30,000 years and the common association, in the register fossil, between man and dog dates back about 15,000 years. Multiple fossils of Chien have already been discovered and allow us to apprehend the morphological evolution of thespecies. However, knowing the factors that have influenced the evolutionary trajectories from the first dogs to the current forms remains very fragmentary.

dog domestication has occurred independently in several parts of the world

In addition to the lack of fossils, this knowledge is deficient due to the fact that the domestication The dog is produced independently in several places in the world and was probably initiated by different behaviors and goals. A study conducted by an international research team was the subject of a study publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports about the morphological evolution of dogs in Croatia since the Neolithic.

Dogs to keep herds

The authors of this study inferred the size of dogs between about 8,000 years ago (Neolithic and Stone Age) and 2,000 years ago (Roman period). The remains of more than 50 dogs, mainly from Croatia, but also from neighboring European countries, were examined. The first Neolithic farmers arrived in Croatia from Anatolia (Asia Minor) and the Middle East and presumably brought with them a breed of dog which was not already present in this region. The authors report that the specimens of this newly imported breed weighed about 15 kilograms.

About two thousand years later, during the Bronze Age, the average weight of Chien had gained two kilograms while they reached the average weight of 24 kilograms during the Roman period. The authors suggest that increasingly large dogs have been selected over time to protect livestock from predators. Herds of sheep were grazing at higher and higher altitudes and were probably more vulnerable to large predators such as bears and the wolves. There are also documents in which Romans give advice to ranchers about shepherd dogs. According to these documents, it was estimated that the dogs could even reach an average weight of 32 kilograms and therefore probably competed in weight with the current shepherd dogs.

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