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Scientists Discover That Wolves May Form Attachments To Human Caretakers

1 min read
Wolves

Wolves

Dogs are known to be inherently friendly toward humans, and scientists are also seeing a similar tendency in wolves. Over a 23-week period, ten dogs and 12 wolves were subjected to a behavioral test designed to assess attachment behavior in canids. Throughout the investigation, wolves were found to differentiate between familiar individuals and strangers equally as effectively as dogs. It was also shown that the presence of familiar people acted as a social stress buffer for the wolves, calming them down in stressful situations. The findings challenge the theory that the ability to build relationships with people arose only after wolves were domesticated at least 15,000 years ago.

Behavioral ethologist Christina Hansen Wheatsays, “We felt that there was a need to thoroughly test this. Together with earlier studies making important contributions to this question, I think it is now appropriate to entertain the idea that if variation in human-directed attachment behaviour exists in wolves, this behaviour could have been a potential target for early selective pressures exerted during dog domestication.”

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