Click here to learn more.
Some are short, and some are tall. Some are wrinkled, while others have sleek coats. There's no disputing that there is a wide variety of
dog breeds out there, but new research reveals that relatively few genes actually determine a canine’s appearance.
“The difference between the Dachshund's diminutive body and the Rottweiler's massive one hangs on the sequence of a single gene,” writes Evan Ratliff in the current issue of National Geographic magazine.
Researchers from Cornell University, UCLA and the National Institutes of Health examined DNA from more than 900 dogs — including their wild cousins, gray wolves and coyotes — in a project called CanMap.
Their findings: Only about 50 different genes control dozens of characteristics in canines, such as height, body size, fur type, nose shape and coloring. By comparison. While 50 may seem to be a lot, humans are vastly more genetically complicated. It takes hundreds of genes just to determine a person’s height.
According to the article, the reason for the relative simplicity behind the genetic makeup of man’s best friend is likely wrapped up in how the dog’s evolutionary history has been altered by humans.
Plus: Read a related story about why the Bulldog breed is in serious trouble.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Nina Pham was declared free of Ebola
and will reunite with Bentley, her Cavalier
King Charles Spaniel, on Saturday.
As you garden this season, remember
that dangerous equipment and toxic
plants are two of many fall risks to pets.
Halloween can be a very stressful holiday
for dogs who are afraid of the doorbell,
but here’s how you can help them.
You wouldn’t hold your tarantula any
more than you would your goldfish, but
some species make fascinating pets.
We’re getting ready for Halloween
by sharing our favorite fan-submitted
photos of dogs and cats in costumes.
Known as one of the smartest dogs, the focused Border Collie has appeared in movies like Babe and Hotel for Dogs.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.