America’s Coyote #nature #science #biology #environment

Coyote pups

Coyote pups

Coyote is our canid,
A true American,
For a million years
Remaining at his origin.

Coyote’s always waiting,
Coyote’s always hungry,
And so we have waged war on him
All across the country.

Kill half a million every year
On foot, in trucks, from planes,
But Coyote found a refuge
Where humans aren’t their bane.

He spread from coast to coast,
From plains to cities, towns,
To parks, and urban sprawl,
To built himself a home.

He thrives on rats and mice
That follow mankind’s rise,
Absorbing genes from wolf and dog,
That’s how Coyote thrives.

America’s own avatar,
Our native totem beast,
Howling out your anthem,
May your singing never cease.

By Kate Rauner

I’ve been intrigued by stories of coyotes’ success surviving rural attempts at extermination and now moving into cities – the stories keep coming. Thanks to coyotes and urban animals.

Humanity Belongs to the #Dogs – #Dog #pets #poetry

cave painting of a wolf or dog

cave painting of a wolf or dog

Humans drop a trail of trash,
Of garbage most enticing.
Wolves followed us
across the plains,
And with us have been thriving.

Neanderthals all disappeared
When modern humans came.
But wolves survived the journey
And slowly
became tame.

From environmental pressure,
To tolerate us near,
Some mommas with their litters
Overcame their fears.

Floppy ears and painted coats
And puppies sweet and dear,
Raise alarms with bark and bite
When predators come near.

And so they morphed from pest to pal
Built on returning trust,
Till not a village lacked a dog
Domesticating us.

by Kate Rauner

iflscience reported findings, published in Current Biology this week, that suggest dogs became domesticated thousands of years earlier than previously thought. They may have been our companions for 30,000 years.

That reminds me of what I’ve learned about the origin of the dog and of how experiments breeding foxes for friendliness yield dog-like offspring in surprisingly few generations. We once thought humans domesticated the dog by capturing and raising wolf pups, but it seems more likely they domesticated themselves by moving from our dumps to our firesides to our homes.

Individuals that tolerated us were safer and better fed, and bred more successfully. They rapidly evolved into dogs and followed us around the world. Our partnership is so successful it’s hard to imagine a town or tribe without dogs. I wonder how different we would be today if dogs had never found us.