A GNXP commenter points to a paper on our four-legged pals. In contrast to wolves, our pampering (“relaxed selection” or selection for tameness rather than healthiness) has allowed them to develop more mitochondrial mutations. This is postulated as having facilitated the great diversity in the species as witnessed by all the different breeds. Of course it’s published by evil James Watson’s evil Cold Springs eugenics lab so maybe you should denounce it or hide. I don’t know much about coyotes, but since they seem to have diverged from wolves well before dogs did I got to thinking about what the cause might have been. It wasn’t domestication, as with dogs. I think they tend to go after smaller game than wolves and are less pack-oriented, but on such scanty knowledge I couldn’t come up with something like Wrangham’s root-theory of human evolution.

Earlier today I was at a sportsman’s club and saw a man shooting clays with his daughter. Right on, keep the tradition alive. They were hispanic, which gives me some hope that things I cherish will survive even if Frank Salter’s nightmare comes true (is that the mindset of a Catholic priest?). He also had his dog with him, cowering by his feet because of the loud gun shots. Not right on. If the dog is running in the field it wouldn’t be so hard on his ears. It was admittedly too hot to leave a dog in the car, but in that case just leave the dog at home. It’ll appreciate your practice when you bring down a bird.

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