Evolutionary biologist Lee Dugatkin talks about the six-decade Siberian experiment with foxes that has revealed details about domestication in general.
Want to make a dog? Well, wolves evolved into dogs at least once. But it turns out you can also make what’s basically a dog by starting with wild foxes. Select the ones that do not seem to want to tear the researcher’s face off and mate them to produce the next generation.
想要培养出小狗吗? 在进化史中狼至少有一次演变成了狗。但是其实你也可以用野生狐狸培养出“像狗的狗”。你可以选择那种看起来不会想要把研究人员的脸抓破的狐狸, 然后让他们交配产生下一代。
“Within five or six generations of this selecting the calmest animals, they had animals that were wagging their tails when Lyudmila would approach them, that were licking her hand when she put it into the cage.”
“在持续选择了五代或六代最安静的狐狸之后, 他们得到了会向柳德米拉（Lyudmila）摇尾巴的狐狸, 当她把它放入笼子里时它还会舔她的手。”
University of Louisville evolutionary biologist Lee Dugatkin, talking about Lyudmila Trut of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Siberia.
“And this is strictly as a result of genetic selection. These animals are not trained to do this, they don’t learn, there’s no mechanism in the experiment for them to learn anything, what you’re looking at is the result of genetic selection.”
Trut started this fox domestication experiment in the late 1950s at the age of 25 and is still running it today. She and her team are approaching their 60th generation of foxes. But they saw profound changes early on.
“Within five generations of selection they had these animals that were extraordinarily docile towards humans. And then slowly but surely, so many of the other traits that we see in domesticated animals, also began to appear in these tame foxes...they tend to have floppy ears and curly tails and they tend to have much more juvenalized facial characteristics.”
Trut and Dugatkin are the co-authors of the new book How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) about this long-term study. They also wrote an article about the fox experiment in the May issue of Scientific American. An in-depth discussion with Dugatkin is available as a Science Talk podcast on our Web site.
“特鲁特和杜加特金是 “如何驯化狐狸(并且培养狗)” 这本新书的共同作者, 这本书记录了这一长期的研究。他们还写了一篇关于此次狐狸实验的文章刊登在科学美国人杂志的五月刊上。在我们网站 “Science Talk podcast”栏目上你还可以和杜加特金进行深入谈话。 ”