How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution - Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut
Dogs were domesticated at least 15,000 years ago, followed, not very quickly, by sheep, cats, goats, pigs, and cows. Why these animals and not others? In the late 1950s, scientists in the Soviet Union set out to see if they could domesticate foxes. Mating the tamest individuals, the geneticists found that by the eighth generation they had foxes that greeted humans, kept their juvenile playfulness longer, and even began to vocalize differently and develop rounder snouts than their wild cousins. In short, these foxes acted like dogs. Soon they were being walked on leashes and living in houses. Co-written by one of the project’s founders, this fascinating and charming book gets to the heart of both the science of evolution and of the human-animal bond, showing how domestication changes the genetics and behavior of both the animals and the humans that fall in love with them.