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How to tame a fox (and build a dog) : visionary scientists and a Siberian tale of jump-started evolution

Author: Lee Alan Dugatkin; L N Trut
Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Press, 2018. ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails and floppy ears that are as docile and friendly as any lapdog. But, despite appearances, these are not dogs-they are foxes. They are the result of the most astonishing experiment in breeding ever undertaken-imagine speeding up thousands of years of evolution into a few decades. In 1959, biologists Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut set  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Lee Alan Dugatkin; L N Trut
ISBN: 9780226599717 022659971X
OCLC Number: 1028612342
Description: 216 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Responsibility: Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut.

Abstract:

The crazy story of how Soviet scientists in Siberia in the 1950s embarked on a project to turn foxes into dogs through selective breeding-and managed it within mere generations.  Read more...

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"If you read only two biology books this year, this is one of those two that you simply must read."--Grrl Scientist "Forbes " "Dugatkin and Trut have collaborated to produce a well-written and Read more...

 
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    schema:description "Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails and floppy ears that are as docile and friendly as any lapdog. But, despite appearances, these are not dogs-they are foxes. They are the result of the most astonishing experiment in breeding ever undertaken-imagine speeding up thousands of years of evolution into a few decades. In 1959, biologists Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut set out to do just that, by starting with a few dozen silver foxes from fox farms in the USSR and attempting to recreate the evolution of wolves into dogs in real time in order to witness the process of domestication. This is the extraordinary, untold story of this remarkable undertaking. Most accounts of the natural evolution of wolves place it over a span of about 15,000 years, but within a decade, Belyaev and Trut's fox breeding experiments had resulted in puppy-like foxes with floppy ears, piebald spots, and curly tails. Along with these physical changes came genetic and behavioral changes, as well. The foxes were bred using selection criteria for tameness, and with each generation, they became increasingly interested in human companionship. Trut has been there the whole time, and has been the lead scientist on this work since Belyaev's death in 1985, and with Lee Dugatkin, biologist and science writer, she tells the story of the adventure, science, politics, and love behind it all. In How to Tame a Fox, Dugatkin and Trut take us inside this path-breaking experiment in the midst of the brutal winters of Siberia to reveal how scientific history is made and continues to be made today. To date, fifty-six generations of foxes have been domesticated, and we continue to learn significant lessons from them about the genetic and behavioral evolution of domesticated animals. How to Tame a Fox offers an incredible tale of scientists at work, while also celebrating the deep attachments that have brought humans and animals together throughout time."@en ;
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