Puppies have the potential to bring enormous benefits to their owners’ lives and can be an asset during uncertain times, including lockdown. That said, caring for a young animal is not without its challenges. With more than one in four puppy buyers during the pandemic admitting it was an impulse decision, there are genuine concerns for the future of the animals taken on during this time.
What fuels the domestication of dogs? Believe it or not, it’s still up for debate. Here is one theory:
Sometime between around 29,000 and 14,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers navigating northern Eurasia’s frigid landscapes turned wolves into dogs by feeding them lean-meat leftovers. That, at least, is a likely scenario that would have benefited both wolves and people, say archaeologist Maria Lahtinen of the Finnish Food Authority in Helsinki and colleagues. In harsh Ice Age winters, when game hunted by both species was lean and fat-free, prey animals would have provided more protein than humans could safely consume, the researchers conclude January