Why do dogs love gnawing on bones?
After analysing dog’s ancestries scientists have discovered that this animals adopted pack-living eight million years ago in order to hunt larger prey, according to researchers from the National University of Colombia.
According to BBC Nature, it appears that their jaws gradually turned the ancestors of our domestic pets into "hypercarnivores".
The findings were presented by Dr Joao Munoz-Doran at the First Joint Congress for Evolutionary Biology in Ottawa, Canada. His team created a canine "family tree", piecing together the relationships between each of the more than 300 dog species.
"So we classified them as carnivores, hypercarnivores and omnivores”, he said.
Quoted by BBC, Dr Munoz-Doran explained that they “found a common evolutionary history for these traits."
"Eight million years ago was when [less forested, more] open habitats were spreading through Asia, Europe and North America.
"And when there are open habitats, the big prey group together. So there will be more eyes watching for a predator."
"And after many generations of this grouping behaviour, there are new selective pressures on their [skull shape]," said the researcher.
"They developed strength in their muscles - especially the muscles that close their mouth," said Dr Munoz-Doran. And bones that are more resistant to bending, so they could support the mechanical strains of biting the prey. Over time, they became adapted to be 'hypercarnivorous'."
And this is why domestic dogs had "very good evolutionary reasons to enjoy chewing a bone" he finally pointed.
Source: BBC Nature
Photo by: A. Montino