Man’s BFF

Person hugging dog with one arm while seated in a mountain

Dogs really are the ulti-mutt pets!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Anything feels PAW-sible when you have a dog by your side. But why do these furry friends feel so attached to us?

Anders Bergström from the Francis Crick Institute in London and an international team say – it’s all about the ALPO! The researchers analyzed the DNA of dogs and humans from eleven thousand years ago. They tracked the development of certain genes linked to diet.

And? Where hunter-gatherers went, dogs followed. The researchers found that as humans started to farm, dogs settled down too. The dogs’ diets adapted to reflect their change in lifestyle. Dogs in farming villages had more genes linked to starch digestion. This suggests they were eating more starchy foods, just like humans!

Dogs and humans were hanging out, even so long ago! Who knows, maybe WE’VE even adapted to fit dogs into OUR lives!

Even when life was RUFF, Fido was always by our side! That’s something scientists found out in the LAB! (Get it? Lab? Sorry.)

Bergström, A., Frantz, L., Schmidt, R., Ersmark, E., Lebrasseur, O., Girdland-Flink, L., Lin, A. T., Storå, J., Sjögren, K.-G., Anthony, D., Antipina, E., Amiri, S., Bar-Oz, G., Bazaliiskii, V. I., Bulatović, J., Brown, D., Carmagnini, A., Davy, T., Fedorov, S., … Skoglund, P. (2020). Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs. Science, 370(6516), 557–564.