Adorable Drawings of Dog Breeds, Grouped By Their Place of Origin

Dog breeds can be a complicated subject, but, for better or worse, humans have been doing it for a long time. Breeds are not only instantly recognizable, the popular imagination has also tended to give dogs the same stereotypes of their nation of origin. But how many breeds and their homes can you actually name? » 9/26/14 1:00am 9/26/14 1:00am

Dogs that look more like puppies have an evolutionary advantage

In many ways, dogs appear and behave more like wolf puppies than wolf adults. Scientists have theorized that these "paedomorphic" features are the byproduct of selecting dogs against aggression. But a new study suggests this is no byproduct at all, but rather the result of a human preference for puppy-like facial… » 12/27/13 1:43pm 12/27/13 1:43pm

The Nazi breeding program that resurrected an extinct species

An indelible characteristic of fascist ideology is the celebration of a mythic past, an over-the-top nostalgic fixation often accompanied by attempts to restore things to the way they used to be "back in the good ol' days". For the Nazis, this meant a return to Old Germania — the old Germany of the Nibelungenlied — a… » 7/09/12 8:00am 7/09/12 8:00am

What Pigeons Teach Us About Convergent Evolution

Picture a pigeon: gray body, iridescent neck feathers, probably pecking away at trash on a city sidewalk. But there are actually more than 350 different breeds of pigeon, and many of them look nothing like the familiar city pest. A new study examines the physical and genetic differences between the pigeon breeds, to… » 1/20/12 7:40am 1/20/12 7:40am

Why some animals can never be domesticated

Dogs, sheep, pigs, cows, horses - all these animals and more have been fundamentally changed by humans to make our lives better. Domestication has fundamentally altered the course of human history, reshaping the land and other species to fit our new agricultural lifestyle. But how do you take a wild species and turn… » 2/09/11 1:48pm 2/09/11 1:48pm

Five Large-Scale Attempts to Change the Course of Human Evolution

Charles Darwin first explained the principles of sexual selection in his controversial book The Descent of Man (1871). Ever since then, people have wanted to tinker with human evolution via artificial sexual selection. Dictators, mad doctors, and crazed social scientists have proposed — and even carried out — human… » 2/28/08 7:40am 2/28/08 7:40am