The next time your pooch is begging for dinner scraps under the table, remember that their genetic code is probably to blame. New genetic findings have revealed that man's best friend has evolved to fit their human masters' lifestyles over thousands of years.
According to The Daily Mail, researchers uncovered that dogs, which were first domesticated more than 15,000 years ago, have evolved genetically to adapt to the dietary choices of their owners. Researchers from France, Sweden, Romania, and Russia recently analyzed the ancient remains of 13 dogs, some up to 15,000 years old, to track how the genetic makeup of canines have evolved over time. The DNA collected was used to track one particular gene in order to develop a timeline of how today's pooches and their dietary needs evolved from their wolf ancestors.
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The gene at the center of the study was the Amy2B, which allows canines to produce amylase to aid in the breaking down starch into sugar. The genetic remains revealed that between 4,000-7,000 years ago, some dogs began to show more copies of Amy2B in their genetic code. This timing coincides with the spread of farming across Europe and the Middle East, during which humans began to adapt diets to include more starches.