If you ever thought your dog and small child could be siblings, then you just might find the following very appealing. Maybe we are not so daft when thinking of Fido as our fur baby!
“What we found is that there's this pattern, where dogs who are good at one of these social things tend to be good at lots of the related social things, and that's the same thing you find in kids, but you don't find it in chimpanzees,” he said.
One explanation for the similarities between dogs and humans is that the two species may have evolved under similar pressures that favored “survival of the friendliest,” with benefits and rewards for more cooperative social behavior.
“Our working hypothesis is that dogs and humans probably evolved some of these skills as a result of similar evolutionary processes, so probably some things that happened in human evolution were very similar to processes that happened in dog domestication,” MacLean said. “So, potentially, by studying dogs and domestication we can learn something about human evolution.”
The research could even have the potential to help researchers better understand human disabilities, such as autism, that may involve deficits in social skills, MacLean said.
Looking to dogs for help in understanding human evolution is a relatively new idea, since scientists most often turn to close human relatives such as chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas for answers to evolutionary questions. Yet, it seems man's best friend may offer an important, if limited, piece of the puzzle.
So, what are we saying? That humans may have evolved from dogs? Well no, we’re not going that far. As a matter of fact, personally, we still have mixed feelings when it comes to that humans-from-apes theory.
But, we do find the tests and their results very interesting and would like to read more on this subject. You can go to Science Daily to learn more from the University of Arizona.
Just note, even if it is all a coincidence our fur babies will remain part of the family!