Physiology Of a Dog Essay

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This assignment will explain how the organism (dog) in the diagram has evolved physiologically to become suited to its environment. The organism chosen is, man’s best friend…the dog. Included in this assignment are two different diagrams for the dog’s body. One diagram is of the main organs in the body and the other is for the skeleton structure of the dog’s body.

                The dog, also known as the canine familiaris, descended from the gray wolf about 15,000 years ago. There are about 400 different breeds of dogs now. But since dogs are not so much like wolfs anymore, there is some confusion. Dogs are way more domesticated now, their behavior has changed. “Some argue that humans adopted wolf pups and that natural selection favored those less aggressive and better at begging for food. Others say dogs domesticated themselves by adapting to a new niche—human refuse dumps. Scavenging canids that were less likely to flee from people survived in this niche, and succeeding generations became increasingly tame.” (National Geographic, 2002). The molecular makeup of dogs and wolves are almost identical. Dogs have evolved in the company of humans and simply cannot live without them.

Dogs have evolved in many ways, although they are carnivores like the coyotes and wolves, they have evolved as omnivores and can be fed on a vegetarian diet. So they have evolved to be able to eat whatever diet is served to them. Their hunting skills have also evolved; “for hunting some rely on eyes that are placed forwards on the head giving them good forward and sideways vision (so-called sight hounds). Other breeds rely much more on their sense of smell and have extremely well developed nasal structures. The hounds and spaniels are good examples of "scent" dogs and these have the most sensitive chemical detecting device known to man - a nose that can detect only a few molecules of substance. They are far superior to any artificial detecting devices so far developed - which is...

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