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86 MIN READ TIME

How to Tame a Fox and Build a Dog

EXCERPT

In 1959, Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut began one of the longest-running experiments in biology. For the last 58 years they have been domesticating silver foxes in Novosibirsk, Siberia, and studying evolution in real time to better understand how dogs were domesticated from wolves. By 1974, after about 15 generations during which they had selected the calmest and tamest foxes to parent the next generation, Lyudmila and Dmitri had a population that was on the fast track to domestication. These foxes were markedly tamer than the ones that parented the first generation, and they were beginning to not just behave like dogs, but to look eerily dog-like.

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