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Thread: Thoughts on Man and Wolf

  1. #1
    Senior Member Scoob's Avatar
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    Post Thoughts on Man and Wolf

    A fascinating subject in the history of humanity is man's relationship with wolves, including dogs (who have been shown genetically to be descended from Eurasian wolves). Wolves have a special relationship with humans, especially Eurasian humans (meaning from Europe and Asia).

    Modern Europeans, especially Northen Europeans, revere dogs almost as fellow "people" - this is rather unusual in the world, and a striking difference can be seen in the indifference and cruelty with which dogs are regarded in Latin America, the Caribbean, and other non-white areas.

    Many Germanic names mean "wolf" - and the modern Mongols consider themselves descended from a Wolf and a Doe.

    I think this is because the primitive nomadic hunting peoples living in the northern lived very much like wolves in their habitat, wanderings, and social organization. The Northern peoples also have a pattern of conquering other races and enslaving them, herding them for resources - this is similar to how wolves will follow/track their prey to feast on them.

    It's worth mentioning in a racial forum that a Russian scentist that experimentally domesticated foxes found that foxes bred only for tameness exhibited adult retention of neotenous physical features, and also elevated serotonin levels.

    (This might suggest that selective pressures on human personality types might also indirectly select for certain physical types.)

    "Interestingly, many of the morphological and physiological differences that exist between dogs and wolves may not have been intentionally selected for by humans, and could have been a result of selection for tameness in dogs. An experiment which involved Siberian foxes (Vulpes vulpes ) demonstrates how this could have happened (see Trut, 1999 for a review). The experiment was started in the 1940's by the Russian geneticist Dmitri Belyaev, who studied the process of domestication using a population of fur farm foxes (see Fig. 1). The foxes used in the beginning stages of the experiment were difficult to handle, very afraid of people and generally behaved like wild animals. The experimenters began to selectively breed the foxes for one trait - tameness around people. At the age of one month, an experimenter would offer food to each fox kit while trying to pet and handle it. This was done twice - while the kit was alone and while it was with other fox kits. This routine was repeated monthly until the kit was seven to eight months old and at that point, each kit was assigned to one of three classes based on how tame it was. Class III foxes attempted to flee from experimenters or tried to bite them. Class II foxes were not friendly to the experimenters, but allowed themselves to be touched. Class I foxes were friendly towards the experimenters and would often approach them. After six generations of breeding only tame foxes, a new class, Class IE, ("domesticated elite") had to be added. These foxes were very dog-like and actively sought out human attention and would lick experimenters and wag their tails like dogs. After twenty generations, 35% of the experimental foxes were domesticated elite and today, 70-80% of the foxes are.

    "Since the foxes in the experiment were being selectively bred for a behavioural trait (tameness), the experimenters hypothesized that physiological changes in the systems governing the fox's hormones and neurotransmitters would also occur, as an animal's behaviour is often mediated by these chemicals. Indeed, that is exactly what happened. As the experiment proceeded, a steady drop in the hormone producing activity of the domestic fox's adrenal glands was measured. For example, after several generations of selective breeding, the basal level of corticosteroids in the blood of the domesticated foxes was far lower than that of the control group of non-domesticated foxes. Changes in the neurochemistry of the domesticated foxes was also noted, as they had higher levels of serotonin in their brains compared to the control group of foxes.

    "After several generations of selecting for tameness, new traits only rarely seen in wild foxes began to become more common in the domesticated population. For example, after ten generations, several of the domesticated foxes had piebald coloured or brown mottled coats. Later in the experiment, it was noted that several of the tame foxes had floppy ears, short tails or curly tails. Even later, changes in the skull morphology of the foxes was noted as well, as skull measurements showed that the cranial height and width of the domesticated foxes tended to be smaller than those of control group foxes. The domestic foxes also had shorter and wider muzzles than the control group ones.

    "Many of the differences between the domestic foxes and the wild foxes are similar to the differences seen between domestic dogs and wolves. Wolves do not have floppy ears, curly tails, or piebald coloured coats, but many dogs do. Skull size is also one of the main ways dogs differ from wolves and selecting foxes only for tameness changed their skull size. The results of this experiment seem to suggest that many of the unique characters seen in dogs and not wolves are a result of the selection of dogs for tameness. But, how does selecting animals for a behavioural trait change their overall morphology like this? It has already been noted that selecting animals for a behavioural trait can change the amount of hormones and neurotransmitters produced by the animals because an animal's behaviour is often controlled by such chemicals. The early development of an animal is also, in part, controlled by these chemicals, so a small change in the animal's endocrine and neurochemical systems may result in changes to the early development of the animal.

    "Several developmental differences in the domestic foxes compared to the wild foxes were noted in the experiment. The domestic fox kits' eyes opened earlier than the control foxes, and they also responded to noise earlier than the wild foxes. The domestic foxes also began to show a fear of unknown stimuli starting later in life than the non-domestic foxes. This means that the domestic foxes had a longer window of socialization than did the wild foxes. In canids, the window of socialization in which the animal can form social bonds begins when when its ears and eyes open and it can explore its environment and closes when it begins to fear novel stimuli. Dogs differ from wolves in the length of their window of socialization. In wolves, this window closes at about three weeks, and it dogs it closes at 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the breed.

    "Several of the morphological changes seen in the foxes seem to be a result of changes to their early development. Floppy ears and curly tails, for instance, are characteristic of young fox kits and these traits are carried over into adulthood in many of the domestic foxes. The changes noted in the morphology of the fox's skulls may also be a result of early developmental changes, but this conclusion cannot be made since only the skulls of adult foxes were studied. Overall, however, many of the changes to the domestic foxes resemble paedeomorphosis, or the retention of juvenile traits in adults.

    "Many researchers consider dogs to be paedeomorphic wolves, meaning that they have retained characteristics that are typical of juvenile wolves as adults. For example, the floppy ears that characterize most dog breeds may be paedeomorphic trait, as very young wolf pups have floppy ears, which straighten shortly after birth. Even the erect-eared dogs, such as huskies and German shepherds, have ears which straighten up later than do the ears of wolf pups. The curled sickle tail of most domestic dogs is also a neotenous trait. Adult wolves typically have straight tails that are carried at a downward-pointing angle, whereas wolf pups, like many adult domestic dogs, have tails that are carried up above the back

    "The bark of domestic dogs is another juvenile trait. Adult wolves can and do bark as an alarm call, but they rarely do. However, wolf pups bark more often than adult wolves, which makes them similar to many domestic dogs. Adult dogs also have skull characteristics that make them rather similar to four-month-old wolf pups (Coppinger and Coppinger, 2001). When a dog reaches four months of age, its head's growth rate slows down relative to the growth rate of the rest of its body. A four month old wolf's head will continue to grow at a more rapid rate relative to a dog's until it is about seven or eight months old. The result is that adult wolf-sized dogs have head sizes that are similar to that of a juvenile wolf's."
    Last edited by Scoob; Friday, March 5th, 2004 at 10:09 PM.
    "Whatever is done from love always occurs beyond good and evil." - F. Nietzsche

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    Post Re: Thoughts on Man and Wolf

    My sign in name "Dr. Solar Wolff" is the name Otto Skorzeny chose to use in a covert operation during WW2, but it has other meanings. It was the name I chose for my wolf-hybirid. "Solar" was the best friend I ever had, man or dog. He was from a long line of wolf hybrids used for the movies. He was about 75% wolf as could be best calculated.

    Wolves are not dogs. Since Solar died I have a malamute and there are big differences even though their appearance is similar. Dogs are pedamorphic wolves as stated above. This fact is central to the difference. Wolves grow up while dogs remain wolf-children. An adult dog is really something. Especially one who has the body of a wolf. A wolf has fantastic coordination. They can jump over a four foot log and make a mid-course correction in the air to avoid a branch. A wolf cannot even be touched by a human if the wolf so desires. Solar could, for instance, play with horses. He would nip them in their butts and then delight in avoiding the rear kick. This was very dangerous for all concerned and a constant worry. If Solar got free, Animial Control could not catch him. In the end they would come to me for assistance. But a wolf's brain is the most astounding aspect of the animal.

    Wolf intelligence is different from human intelligence but in NO WAY INFERIOR. To say I owned a wolf would be like saying I owned one of my children. Wolves are not "owned". Wolves can be part of the family. Solar would take charge in certain situations. For instance, once we started out on a hike in the winter. Suddenly, a snow storm hit, a white out situation. I was lost. Solar took over and led me home. If confronted by a rattle snake or mountain lion or bear, Solar wanted to be in charge. Solar could always sense strangers on the trail in the mountains long before they could be detected by humans.

    Wolves also can communicate. They know your movements and thoughts. I know people say this about dogs but it is even more so with wolves. They can express thoughts with their eyes and emotions through the eyes also.

    In fact wolves communicate through what is called "talking". They will answer questions with a type of "Woo-woo" sound which dogs rarely make and rarely in this context. Wolves can tell you what they are thinking through their eyes, body language and vocalization.

    Solar died at 6 1/2. This was the worst day of my life. Worse than the deaths of my parents which I had prepared myself for.

    The big problem is that once you have lived with a wolf, you realize that wolves should live free in the wild. Wolves are much too complex and intelligent and well adapted to their environment to be "kept" in human terms.

    Anyone who shoots a wolf is committing murder. I don't care what they think the wolf did. I don't care how many cattle were killed. I don't care anything about the human at all. If I see anyone even attempt to kill a wolf, I promise you, that person will never see another sunrise.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Angelcynn Beorn's Avatar
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    Post Re: Thoughts on Man and Wolf

    Nah, a bulldog could take a wolf anytime.
    I am Ripper... Tearer... Slasher... Gouger.
    I am the Teeth in the Darkness, the Talons in the Night.
    Mine is Strength... and Lust... and Power!
    I AM BEOWULF!

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    Senior Member Mac Seafraidh's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up Re: Thoughts on Man and Wolf

    I would love to own one someday once I get outta this slump and moveon with life.

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