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Complex Traits

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD.

Dogs and Wolves are Separate Species

Dogs and wolves, which are separate species, also occasionally do interbreed. Normally, the two species maintain separate identities, have different physical characteristics and have different evolutionary histories. In addition, dogs and wolves usually are isolated reproductively (in natural circumstances, dogs and wolves rarely interact or have opportunities to breed). 

Experts believe that the domestication and divergence of dogs from wolf populations began about 15,000 years ago. Most modern dog breeds originated within the past few hundred years. 

Domestication led to selection for and retention of certain favorable traits, such as herding or tracking behaviors, in addition to preferred physical characteristics.


Procedure (cont.)

3. After students have discussed characteristics of the dog, project the next slide, which lists examples of wolf and dog phenotypes.


Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Gene U: Inquiry-based Genomics Learning Experiences for Teachers and Students
Grant Number: 5R25OD011134


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Using Learning Technology to Build Human Capital
Grant Number: 57363