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The Evolution of siberian huskies

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on 13 February 2014

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Transcript of The Evolution of siberian huskies

The Evolution and domestication of dogs
Darwin's Theory
What is evolution?
The process by which different kinds of living organisms are believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth. (Oxford Dictionary)

The most common known theory is Darwinism. Charles Darwin believed that all life is related and has all derived from a common ancestor. He believed that animals all changed and evolved to become better adapted to their environment and food resources . This went against a lot of peoples beliefs but Darwin had evidence of mutations, adaptations and natural selection.

Why Species Become Extinct
Species extinction is when there are no more members of a species left in captivity or the wild. There are many ways that species become extinct. One reason is because the animals may be unable to adapt to the environment they’re in if it changes/if they’re moved. Sometimes, other or the same species will fight for space and food with the same or a mutated variation of a species. If the mutated variation is better than the non-mutated variation, the mutated variation will survive because it is better adapted to it’s surroundings. The other variation of the species will have to either move to another environment with less competition, adapt to the environment by breeding with the mutated variation and producing mutated offspring or it will die. However, the evolution of a whole species to be perfectly adapted takes thousands of years. Species may also become extinct due to human behavior such as hunting, deforestation and pollution. The western black rhino went extinct due to human factors such a hunting for their valuable horns. Species may also become affected and possibly extinct due to humans breeding selectively. An example of humans putting an animal at risk by selective breeding are Pugs. Pugs have been bred to have shorter snouts but, by doing this, their respiratory system is becoming affected making it harder for them to breathe. Humans will now have to breed Pugs with other dogs that have longer snouts or Pugs may soon become endangered. Other ways that species become extinct is by mass extinction. This could happen due to natural disasters such as volcanoes and tsunamis, climate change, meteors/asteroids and diseases, such as Foot and Mouth or TB.

Siberian Husky - Breed Development
There are a few theories to say how the dog was domesticated. One of these is that humans took and reared wolf pups, taming them and breeding them to create tamer wolves. Another theory is that the naturally tamer wolves would use human camp sites for food so survived and eventually learned to live alongside humans. Once the humans had domesticated the wolf, they could them selectively breed, pick certain characteristics to create breeds of dogs. The Siberian Husky, although similar looking to a wolf, have no wolf blood in them. They are thought to be one of the oldest breeds of dogs and are thought to be close relatives of the Samoyed breed. It was first selectively bred as a sledge dog and reindeer herder by the Chukchi people who lived in northeastern Siberia. They chose the dogs with the thickest double coats to ensure they could survive the harshest winters and they bred the strongest dogs for their sledge pulling purposes. They are also able to survive lots of work with little food. In the 1930's, the Husky got official breed recognition in the AKC. It was then also bred for its kind temperament and, although it was not then and is not now bred for its looks, many people are attracted to the Husky, especially due to its vibrant eye colours and is now a loved family pet.
Siberian Husky - Welfare Needs
The two most common ailments Huskies struggle with are Gonoidysgenesis and Hip Dysplasia. There are three DNA tests available to test for the likeliness of a pup getting a hereditary eye disease. Other less likely diseases include:
Idiopathic epilepsy
Laryngeal paralysis (exercise intolerance, respiratory problems)
Zinc responsive dermatosis (scaley, crusty skin, hair loss affecting the head)
Chronic superficial keratitis (Pannus)
Spontaneous pneumothorax (air within the pleural cavity causing breathing problems)
Canine uveodermatological syndrome
Nasal depigmentation (Dudley nose)
Haemophilia (blood clotting disorder)
One of the breed societies for Huskies is the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain. This website gives people advice on this breed, gives people the opportunity to meet other people with Huskies and gives suggestions of reliable and trusted breeders. It also offers a welfare scheme purely for Huskies and has been protecting and promoting the breed for over 30 years in Great Britain.
There are a few concerns about Huskies being in warmer countries, during the summer, they get overheated very easily because they have a double coat and were bred for the cold weather. Also, they are bred for working and to work on little food so are extremely energetic and need plenty of exercise otherwise they will be ill and unhappy.
Darwin's Theory - Mutations
Occasionally, genes mutate. Some of these mutations will cause changes in the animals. Sometimes, the animals will survive and breed to pass the mutation on. If this mutation is effective, natural or artificial selection may change this mutation to be the norm in certain species. Sometimes the mutated organisms survive and grow in numbers more than the non-mutated organisms. This could be due to better camouflage, better ability at avoiding predators, better ability at finding prey etc.

Darwin's Theory - Adaptation
Some of these mutations will actually aid an animal to adapt to certain situations. Darwin found that finches on the different Galapagos islands had different beaks. He noted the food they ate and realised that their beaks we better suited to their food. Some of these adaptations may have originated from mutated genes and are now normal because this mutation aided in the birds survival.

Darwin's Theory - Natural Selection
Natural selection is what causes these mutations and adaptations to become the most common variation of the species. It is a perfect example of survival of the fittest. If we think back to Darwin's finches, the ones with the beaks that can access a particular food the best are the ones that will survive and, being in the healthiest condition, these birds are the ones that will mate the most. Their offspring will also have the mutation and will survive due to the adaptation.

An example of mutations in dogs are curly tails. These have been artificially selected by humans purely as a desirable trait.
By natural selection, dogs have adapted and evolved to have a very strong sense of smell. This helps them to survive in the wild because they can hunt for food more easily.
Certain dogs such as the Siberian Husky have been naturally selected to have thick fur. This helps them to survive the temperatures in their natural habitat.
Dog Breed Health - Siberian Husky. (n.d.). Retrieved from Dog Breed Health:

Evolution. (n.d.). Retrieved from BBC:

History of the Siberian Husky Breed. (n.d.). Retrieved from Husky Domain :

How Animal Domestication Works. (n.d.). Retrieved from How Stuff Works:

Oxford Dictionary . (n.d.). Retrieved from Oxford Dictionary :

Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain . (n.d.). Retrieved from Siberian Husky Club:

Siberian Husky History . (n.d.). Retrieved from American Kennel Club:

Darwin's Findings
Darwin found that certain animals, although of the same species, could sometimes look extremely different to one another. An example of this was the finches on the Galapagos Islands. He found that each of the finches from different islands had different beaks. Hes studied and observed them further and soon found that they all ate different things. He eventually concluded that the birds had adapted to have the best beak for the food they ate. He concluded that this would help them to survive and thrive on their island as they were perfectly adapted for their food source ruling out all other competition. This was due to evolution.
The four finches all with different beaks
Some Extinct Animals
Tasmanian Tiger
Dodo Bird
Galapagos Turtle
One of the first domesticated dogs with a family of people
Siberian Huskies with a human now
Hereditory conditions in huskies - Nasal Dispigmentatin and cataracts
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