"Wild" lands in the US.

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by chimpkin, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Do you have a picture of that? I have never seen it. That seems to be an evolutionary jump to me.
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  3. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    How about these:

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    Most of the photos I've seen of Coyotes have them with their tails tucked between their legs like a cowering dog.

    Thriving under our noses, stealthily: coyotes
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  5. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    That is funny cause I just heard this weekend that Canadian geese were the new menace in cities . They are not all flying north for summer anymore . Hang around and eat the fruits of the big cities . The sanctuaries like city parks ( green spaces in the urban core ) provide all there needs so they got lazy and don't migrate . Kind of like Americans watching T.V.
    The person that told me this said those Canadian Geese are just horrible
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  7. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Big nasty pidgins that shit on everything.

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  8. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    hate Canadian Geese. poop everywhere. I don't know why they don't hunt them 12 months a year here.

    and why can't you hunt seagulls??
  9. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  10. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    It was a Russian breeding silver foxes:


  11. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Sounds right, but I'm sure it was more recent than that, however, it alludes to another point either way.

    Consider, for a moment, what coming into a city means with regards to fearlessness towards humans, and if this trait is linked to other dog like traits...

    Is it really that much of a surprise that urban coyotes have started displaying dog like mannerisms? Especially when, in theory at least, it would give them a huge leg up.
  12. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    I actually saw a coyote during the day ...standing at the end of my street, looking at me. Chalked it up to the drought.
    There was a big coyote that I saw at my last worksite-size of a small German shepherd.

    This is absolutely coyote country. Also bobcat and feral hog. Alligator and water moccasin if you swim too...I do, and swam right up to a 6 foot moccasin once without realizing it. (A pit viper).

    Also, rattlers, copperheads, coral snakes-we had a big copperhead (american copperheads aren't that dangerous) in the yard.
    There's an endangered rattlesnake here too, I've seen one. It's rattle is inaudible to humans. Surprise!

    I have a struck coyote carcass I found a week ago decaying in the backyard, I've wanted a skull to add to the collection for some time now. She weighed about 35 pounds or so, looked reasonably healthy-didn't make it across the freeway though.

    Opossums can bite the crap out of you, but are way less aggressive than raccoons...I grabbed a young 'possum off a dog, just took the uninjured possum out of the dog's mouth before the dog hurt it.
    Raccoons can take fingers off, I wouldn't try that with a 'coon.

    Interesting that wolves are hybridizing. You see, I've read that...while the eastern coyote is bigger-gets up to about 80 pounds...wolves would kill coyotes.

    Too, if a coyote and dog hybridize, the hybrid will pup in the winter. This rather implies that dog-coyote hybrids would only survive in the south and in urban areas.

    Back in '99, I was in the medical center, bicycling at dusk...saw what I thought was a cat running from a dumpster and called "Here, kitty-kitty!' A half-grown coyote pup turned around and looked at me in astonishment.
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    That's been brought up on SciForums a number of times. Clearly the genes that guide instinctive behavior are tied in with certain other ones that control physical appearance.

    I just saw a video of a wolf pack (at a concert by Several Species, one of the most accomplished Pink Floyd tribute bands) and the young wolves were barking, being social with each other, roughhousing and wagging their tails. Adult dogs behave like baby wolves! I wonder if what we actually did, as we bred them down into a separate subspecies of wolf (Canis lupus familiaris) that's compatible with civilization, was to select for the genes that manifest neoteny: they are perpetual puppies!
    And we set them out at the city limits as a warning to their buddies.
    The deer population of North America is something like two orders of magnitude larger than it was when the European occupiers arrived and started hunting them with Iron Age technology. Then of course they began hunting their predators with that same technology.
    As I said, they've been breeding for intelligence since their only major "predators" are now cars. They quickly figure out that humans aren't going to hurt them, and most dogs won't either because their ancestors were bred to protect livestock.
    We have bears here in Maryland and both bears and cougars back in northwestern California. (You call them pumas, in the Southeast they're known as panthers, and in Arizona we used to call them mountain lions.)
    Wolves prefer live prey and will only scavenge if they have to. Coyotes are more like jackals, and will eat whatever's handy. Foxes are somewhat like that too, at least the species that have adapted to living around humans. Bears are formidable but since they're solitary animals and a little ungainly, hunting is not the most energy-efficient way for them to get their daily calorie intake. A fenced-in herd of smaller ruminants like goats, well now that's different.
    But their range was once much broader, like wolves.
    An old buck with big antlers?
    Omnivores tend to be lazy and opportunistic since from their point of view the planet is a cornucopia of edible delights. Generally they'd rather scavenge than hunt because it takes less energy, and as you noted, it's also a whole lot safer.
    Bears are large animals with powerful legs and they can run pretty fast. But they're sprinters and can't catch a distance-runner like the average hooved mammal. And they're a little too ponderous to sneak up on anything.
    Some dog breeds are distance runners and can chase their prey for a long time. Look at the distance they cover in the Iditarod. IIRC a dog of the large breeds that are well adapted to distance running can burn 1,000 calories an hour for several hours. After doing that they pretty much have to bring down a moose, or else have a grateful sledder feed them a moose carcass. But on the other hand many other dog breeds are sprinters. Our Lhasa Apsos are couch potatoes who listen for burglars and then tell the big dogs to go get 'em. And then there are some who have figured out how to ride around in a handbag. We have selectively bred them into myriad forms.
    Yet another reason not to ever go to Montana. I'll put it on my list under Texas and Arizona.
    No, they have already evolved high intelligence. Remember that domestic dogs have smaller brains than their wild cousins because we have spent 12,000 years adapting them to the lower-protein diet of a scavenger. Even their teeth are a little different, better for chewing carrot stubs than tearing apart a dead mastodon. Wolves and coyotes are smarter than dogs.

    Some coyotes have figured out that looking like a dog greatly increases their life expectancy. They've been spotted in Los Angeles walking down the middle of city streets at noon, but only an expert can tell, or at least someone who has seen a lot of them.
    It's all true. They are becoming almost as much of a scourge as deer. There is a disturbing increase in goose-airliner collisions. I think that one that Captain Sullenberger landed in the Hudson River against all odds, becoming a hero, had its engines knocked out by geese.

    Geese are pretty tough and a flock of them is nothing to mess with. They'll tear your dog apart if he gets uppity with them.

    Of course the new winged menace that doesn't get much publicity (because it would be politically incorrect) is bald eagles. Like most predatory birds they're fairly bright, and it didn't take them long to realize what it means to be a "protected species." They shake people down in parks and steal their lunches. Just imagine a fifteen-pound seagull with a really bad attitude. Got it? Then imagine a whole flock of 'em!
    Well... having lived in L.A. I'm convinced that diurnal behavior is more common than some of the experts tell us, for the exact reason that these are the coyotes who have become really good at impersonating dogs and they avoid being identified.
    They're not really hunters like raccoons. Raccoons of course are omnivores and will happily scavenge, but opossums really like to eat fruit and other stuff that doesn't fight back.
    There are plenty of them in southern California. I'm sure some of the coyotes who act like dogs have some dog DNA.

    A friend of mine was at a job site once and a dog jumped into the passenger seat of his truck. He was acting friendly so he just took off, figuring the dog knew what he was doing. The more he looked at it, the more he realized that he actually had a coyote in his car. He opened the door and he nonchalantly jumped out, thanking him for the lift to his new territory.
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Yeah, I've seen this observation before, that adult dogs act like juvenile wolves.
  15. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    How have they figure that out?

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    Is it possible that some naturally acted like dogs and survived and passed that gene on to their young. I can't believe they 'figured' it out and made teh conscious decision to mimic a dog.
  16. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, if you read further materials on the Russian fox experiments, that all is made pretty explicit. It should not be a surprise that dogs which are "cuter" would end up selected for in human controlled breeding (along with various other traits like sociability, playfulness, etc.).

    That's a closer match-up (and it also depends on the size and aggressiveness of the bear), but I'd still lean towards bear, yeah.

    True enough, although fishing is a (safe, easy) form of "hunting," no?
  17. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member


    Dogs are dumber than wolves(have less brain mass) and are less assertive.

    The dumb is good; I had friends who took in a dumped wolf-hybrid...and oh boy was he destructive! combination extreme boredom and nerves when his humans were not home.

    Some dogs destroy things...wolf-hybrids? they appear to itemize. They seem to mentally make a list of stuff to destroy now, stuff to destroy the next time they get really bored or lonely. A one-canid wrecking crew. They will shred things and lay them out for you, so you can see them! Like a ADHD 3 year-old with razor teeth and an inability to understand language.

    He loved the heck out of me though and would always put his paws on my shoulders and let me hug him when I came over. I was always up for a playwrestle. I am 5' 9" BTW, he put his paws on my shoulders and was slightly taller than me...
    He loved his humans too, but the couple's constant arguing really freaked him out. Poor guy.
    Oh, and Jeebus, they shed, wolfdog hair ends up on the menu, because it goes everywhere.
    Not an easy pet, not a dog.

    A dog trainer told me a full wolf will inevitably vie for dominance; with the hybrids, I guess it would be a tossup as to whether they received that gene or not.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011

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