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Dog   (Canis lupus familiaris)
Category: Mammals

 

 

Dogs have been domesticated by man longer than other species: genetic evidence tells us that the modern domesticated dog diverged from its extinct Eurasian ancestor around 40,000 years ago! Over this large swath of time, dogs have arrived in their myriad modern forms through a combination of natural selection in feral populations and selective breeding by humans for a vast spectrum of physical, behavioral, and sensory traits. This variety of purpose and temperament can be observed in the multitude of “jobs” and roles dogs fill in human lives, from guardian and helper to guide for the blind – we have shaped their evolution and they have shaped ours.

 

Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Canidae
Genus - Canis
Species - C. lupus

 
Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

The Opossum Ain’t Playing

Many people associate playing dead with the opossum - that’s where the term “playing opossum” comes from, after all. But something you might not know is that when an opossum feigns death, it really goes all out! Not content with merely closing its eyes and laying down, the opossum begins drooling profusely as if ill or even rabid, releases a putrid, greenish fluid from its anal glands that makes it smell like a decaying corpse, and after losing consciousness may even mimic rigor mortis! This is quite the elaborate routine, but it isn’t conscious: when an opossum plays dead, it has actually gone into shock due to stress.

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