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Thread: Are dogs and wolves different species/subspecies or the same

  1. #1 Are dogs and wolves different species/subspecies or the same 
    Forum Freshman Mehan's Avatar
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    There seems to be differing info on this, but from what I understand they as odd as it may seem exactly the same animal...………

    Thoughts


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    dogs are an inbred, inferior set of sub-breeds of Wolves. Wolves righteously kill dogs on sight. However, to the chagrin of wolves, dogs and Wolves can still produce viable offspring. Hence they are the same genus. I hear dogs taste okay, I would never eat one of the filthy stinking things. Wolves as wild animals are okay, kinda cool even.


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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    dogs are an inbred, inferior set of sub-breeds of Wolves. Wolves righteously kill dogs on sight. However, to the chagrin of wolves, dogs and Wolves can still produce viable offspring. Hence they are the same genus. I hear dogs taste okay, I would never eat one of the filthy stinking things. Wolves as wild animals are okay, kinda cool even.
    I hear snakes make great shoes and belts
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mehan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    dogs are an inbred, inferior set of sub-breeds of Wolves. Wolves righteously kill dogs on sight. However, to the chagrin of wolves, dogs and Wolves can still produce viable offspring. Hence they are the same genus. I hear dogs taste okay, I would never eat one of the filthy stinking things. Wolves as wild animals are okay, kinda cool even.
    I hear snakes make great shoes and belts
    They do for rats.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
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    Forum Freshman Mehan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mehan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    dogs are an inbred, inferior set of sub-breeds of Wolves. Wolves righteously kill dogs on sight. However, to the chagrin of wolves, dogs and Wolves can still produce viable offspring. Hence they are the same genus. I hear dogs taste okay, I would never eat one of the filthy stinking things. Wolves as wild animals are okay, kinda cool even.
    I hear snakes make great shoes and belts
    They do for rats.
    Do you know how long a snake can slither around after it's head is chopped off?
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  7. #6  
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    Longer than a dog.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
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    Forum Freshman Mehan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Longer than a dog.
    More entertaining watching a snake squirm around trying to find it's head too
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    That’s right, snakes are more entertaining than dogs. And quieter.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    That’s right, snakes are more entertaining than dogs. And quieter.
    LOL, they rest 99.9 percent of the time in an aquarium, born free not
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  11. #10  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    That question depends on if you are talking genetics. Phenotypic, behavior or other.

    The dog bashing doesnt really have a place on the forum
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    That question depends on if you are talking genetics. Phenotypic, behavior or other.

    The dog bashing doesnt really have a place on the forum
    I am certainly talking genetics, oddly I have found different answers
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  13. #12  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    In that case its dependant on if you want to take a lumping or a splitting approach, with taxonomists on both sides. "species" as a concept is a purely human invention that is very very fluid in actual practice.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Evolutionary biologists have taken what I consider to be an odd stand on the meaning of "species". The case of wolves and dogs is no exception, and particularly odd.

    The classical/traditional meaning for animals is that those that are capable of producing fertile offspring are like species, and those that are not so capable, are different species.

    Such a determination is not possible for long extinct animals, and very murky for some living things that are not animals. These problems do not exist for virtually all contemporary animals. Still, evolutionary biologists seem intent on creating problems, where none exist.

    Domestic dogs that that are trained to guard livestock and protect them from wolves, sometimes mate with wolves, and produce fertile offspring. This passes virtually all the requirements of evolutionary biologists to claim they are one species, but they do not, generally speaking.
    I wonder if this is for convenience, or for Science.

    There are similar cases, where the case for Science is stronger, but the case for convenience is not absent.

    Ornithologists generally say Darwin's finches are fully capable of interbreeding, and producing fertile offspring, so are one species. Evolutionary biologists generally say they have different songs, and different habits, and so are different species, because they choose to not interbreed.

    Recently a finch from an neighboring island made its way to the Galapagos, and mated with native finches. These new hybrids mated with each other, creating a new population. This is claimed to be an example of "macrovolution" in two generations.

    If geography, or habits, discourage interbreeding, the result is separate species, by evolutionary biologists standards.

    There are two gray tree frogs, virtually identical outwardly, with different songs. One has 24 chromosomes, the other has 48. Even so, when sperm and eggs unite, only some young develope, and of the surviving adults, 40% are fertile.

    In the case of horses and donkeys, although most mules are sterile, some are not.

    In the case of humans, some types choose to not mate with other types, and if they did, they would die, and/or fail to produce live offspring (dwarfs, among others). By evolutionary biologists standards, this could be reason to claim they are separate species. No such claims are made.

    In the case of dogs, some small breeds choose to not mate with large breeds. Like Darwin's finches, this would be just cause, by evolutionary biologists standards, to claim two species. No such claims are made. If they did mate, a small breed female could not survive and produce viable offspring, further reason to say two species.

    In the case of wolves and dogs, reasoning says they are one species. Evolutionary biologists disagree.
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  15. #14  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    The classical/traditional meaning for animals is that those that are capable of producing fertile offspring are like species, and those that are not so capable, are different species.
    That definition turns out to be too simplistic (as some of the points you make demonstrate). Whether groups are considered a singles species or not depends on a number of factors and genetics is often used as a deciding factor. But, as these are arbitrary man-made distinctions, it is not surprising that nature doesn't fit into a single simple rule.

    There is a good discussion of the difficulties of defining a species on this page: Observed Instances of Speciation
    A discussion of speciation requires a definition of what constitutes a species. This is a topic of considerable debate within the biological community. Three recent reviews in the Journal of Phycology give some idea of the scope of the debate (Castenholz 1992, Manhart and McCourt 1992, Wood and Leatham 1992). There are a variety of different species concept currently in use by biologists. These include folk, biological, morphological, genetic, paleontological, evolutionary, phylogenetic and biosystematic definitions. In the interest of brevity, I'll only discuss four of these -- folk, biological, morphological and phylogenetic. A good review of species definitions is given in Stuessy 1990.
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  16. #15  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Ibu, Cite your sources.....
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    The classical/traditional meaning for animals is that those that are capable of producing fertile offspring are like species, and those that are not so capable, are different species.
    That definition turns out to be too simplistic (as some of the points you make demonstrate).
    Shall we say then that there there is no criterea, ever, for determining when will be called a species? I hear no one advocating that position.

    Is the title of Darwin's most famous work senseless? I have never seen support for such a thought.

    As I point out, the usage, particularly by evolutionary biologists seems arbitrary at best, dishonest at worst.

    Because finches do not interbreed, they are different species. Dogs that do likewise, are the same species.

    Ornithologists (possibly not all) say the finches are all variations of one species. Are Darwin's Finches One Species or Many? | DiscoverMagazine.com

    There is lack of consistency in deciding what criteria prevails. It seems to be a matter of convenience. Arguments to the contrary would be helpful.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Ibu, Cite your sources.....
    You doubt a man called Darwin observed and recorded information about finches? Surely not.

    I would be pleased to document any information you doubt. To request documentation of claims that are common knowledge seems arbitrary and excessive.
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  19. #18  
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    Thats not citing sources for any of the modern instances you described. And Darwin is 200 years out of date with modern evolutionary theory.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  20. #19  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    Shall we say then that there there is no criterea, ever, for determining when will be called a species? I hear no one advocating that position.
    You don't hear it because no-one is advocating that position. So why say it?

    Did you read the article on the complexities of defining what a species is?

    There is lack of consistency in deciding what criteria prevails. It seems to be a matter of convenience.
    That is a large part of it. After all, we invented the concept of species (and taxonomy in general) to organise what we know about the world around us. So obviously we make it convenient. And, because the world is complicated, the decisions are sometimes arbitrary and inconsistent.

    • It is convenient to consider all domestic dogs to be one species even though some could never interbreed.
    • It can be convenient to consider populations that are almost identically (physically and genetically) but that live in different environments to be different species.
    • It can be convenient to consider populations that appear physically identical but have significant genetic differences to be different species.
    • And so on


    Sorry, but life is messy.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    Shall we say then that there there is no criterea, ever, for determining when will be called a species? I hear no one advocating that position.
    You don't hear it because no-one is advocating that position. So why say it?

    Did you read the article on the complexities of defining what a species is?

    There is lack of consistency in deciding what criteria prevails. It seems to be a matter of convenience.
    That is a large part of it. After all, we invented the concept of species (and taxonomy in general) to organise what we know about the world around us. So obviously we make it convenient. And, because the world is complicated, the decisions are sometimes arbitrary and inconsistent.

    • It is convenient to consider all domestic dogs to be one species even though some could never interbreed.
    • It can be convenient to consider populations that are almost identically (physically and genetically) but that live in different environments to be different species.
    • It can be convenient to consider populations that appear physically identical but have significant genetic differences to be different species.
    • And so on


    Sorry, but life is messy.
    What is messy about agreeing with ornithologists and saying all the finches on Galapagos are one species - or do you agree that is a good idea?
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  22. #21  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Which ornithologists are lumping them all together specifically?

    And we are still waiting for you to provide the citations for your first post here as well
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    What is messy about agreeing with ornithologists and saying all the finches on Galapagos are one species
    Please try to be accurate (or honest - I'm not yet sure which is lacking here).
    Ornithologists are not claiming that.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    Is the title of Darwin's most famous work senseless? I have never seen support for such a thought.
    Darwin would have been the first to admit that it’s extremely hard in practice to differentiate between subspecies, incipient species and proper species, as he admitted himself when commenting on his work on barnacles
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    What is messy about agreeing with ornithologists and saying all the finches on Galapagos are one species
    Please try to be accurate (or honest - I'm not yet sure which is lacking here).
    Ornithologists are not claiming that.
    Who believes all ornithologists all agree with each other all of the time? Please try to be honest.

    Do you now claim all Ornithologists say they are distinct species?

    I provided a reference that quotes an Ornithologist as saying all the finches are one species.

    For your rebuttal - no citations. Surely you can find at least one to support your claim. Actually I am expecting a citation that says most Ornithologists say they are distinct species. I doubt such a claim can be supported, one way or the other.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    Do you now claim all Ornithologists say they are distinct species?.
    you’re presenting a single dissenting person as if it represents a challenge to the consensus - whereas those who have actually studied the birds themselves, starting with John Gould in Darwin’s time to David Lack who wrote the classic “Darwin’s finches” to Peter and Rosemary Grant whose work has been described Jonathan Weiner’s “The beak of the finch” all agree that they are separate species

    yes, there is gene pool mixture from time to time, but the populations are discreet enough to count as fully fledged species

    to pretend that 99% of ornithologists are wrong because of one dissenting opinion is dishonest - it’s basically how creationists and nutters build their arguments
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibu View Post
    I provided a reference that quotes an Ornithologist as saying all the finches are one species.
    Correct. You provided a source that says ONE ornithologist claims they're all one species. Yet you stated "ornithologists".

    For your rebuttal - no citations. Surely you can find at least one to support your claim
    Your own link gave the names of two ornithologists that disagree with with that one person.
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    Domestic Dogs are just one of app 37 subspecies of Grey Wolves.
    It's incredible no one even bothered looking up this easily google-able fact.
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  29. #28  
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    in the end, this thread ended up more like exploring the species concept and what it means being a biological species - imo it’s pretty clear that dogs are part of Canis lupus, but I suppose the extent of phenotypic divergence might fool some people
    it certainly did so for 19th century biologists, Charles Darwin being a case in point
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  30. #29  
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    There are still ongoing debates about what a species is and what distinguishes the closely related but different populations - a whole lot of characteristics besides the ability to interbreed can apply. This theconversation.com article is about a recent paper that discusses the classification of the Australian dingo - but some of what is discussed would apply to wolves vs dogs also. Despite the ability to interbreed with domestics dogs arguments are presented for naming dingos a different canis species, including distinct behaviours not found in domesticated dogs and the ability to exist entirely wild - something domestic dogs cannot. I would say this is a debate that will not be resolved any time soon - but, then, I don't have a problem with how we name 'species' so long as the facts about them are straight.

    The dog bashing doesnt really have a place on the forum
    More entertaining watching a snake squirm around trying to find it's head too
    Nor the snake bashing - the vast majority of snake species are harmless to humans and, if you can get past a learned fear and dislike, are interesting and beautiful animals. Even those that can be deadly rarely attack humans except as self-defence.
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