Monday, February 21, 2011
Dogs and Humans, an Archeological Contribution
After reading a report by archeologists that at one time humans and dogs seemed to have been carrion eaters. I will add what I learned in a lecture series on Africa given by a Malboro College professor and what I know about dogs and have a possible contribution to archeology. It may have been soon after our human-like ancestors came out of an African jungle to survive as a land animal that the early ancestors of the wolf learned that by following humans on a hunt they could benefit by the left overs of the hunt. Gradually over thousands of years a few of the wolves became involved with the actual hunt and may have become the difference between a successful hunt and an unsuccessful one. Finally the human recognized the usefulness of the dog-like creature and accepted it into the campfire. There is at least one other necessity of humans than food, water and shelter and that is sleep. The dog creature could announce danger approaching by the bark to awaken the deep sleeping human. Further consideration concerns the info from the African lecture series. Today in Africa there are perhaps 150 small villages scattered over the continent each with its own language. The geography of Africa is varied with rivers and mountains and the open Savannah. With such a variety of landscape the wolf-dog had to adapt to hunting in open space and in forests. It is possible that those immigrants with dogs that helped with the open space hunting might favor a greyhound-like hunter that could run down an animal such as a rabbit and the hound could trail one specimen for over a day until the prey was exhausted and the hunter could dispatch it. The inherited traits useful for hunting in our breeds of today include the ruthless killers such as present day fighting dogs as the pit bull. The bird dogs who could have located game in brushy areas for a hunter to approach close enough to kill. Some breeds may have survived as ornaments and alarms as we know the early Romans had dogs and signs, "Beware of the dog." That warning was to prevent visitors from stepping on small house dogs. It seems reasonable to suggest that neither you nor I nor the dogs we know would have survived without coming out of Africa together.