What distinguishes man's best friend the dog from the large, feared predator wolf?
By living around the clock with animals, researchers are trying to find out how domestication has affected dog.
– It is unique that we have a living original to a species. It is an ideal situation, we can compare the original wolf with the domesticated variant dog, says Christina Hansen, PhD student at Stockholm University's zoological institution.
For nearly seven months a litter with sled dogs and siblings of wolf puppies living at the research station Tovetorp outside Nyköping. During the first three and a half months socialized researchers around the clock with animals.
– It is important to treat the dogs and wolves alike, then you can actually dare to say that the differences you see depends on how the dog and the wolf are, says Hans Temrin, docent in ethology.
The researchers are primarily interested in the social game within animal groups. How they behave when people leave context? Are there differences in social behavior between dogs and wolves? Although there is long way to go before scientists can present some results, they have made observations.
Intersections between dog and wolf allegedly penetrated into the real gråvargen in Finland, Sweden and Norway in recent years.
The information supplied by a phalanx of Finnish scientists who are very critical of the official Game- and fisheries research in Finland and its view of the wolf.
According to the official wolf research in Finland, there is only an occasional wolf hybrid of our wolf population.
Tons of material about wolf hybrids circulating on the Web. Kaj Granlund has compiled an extensive compendium named "From gråvarg hybrid" that describes how to tell the difference between a genuine gråvarg and a cross between dog and wolf.
Above all, feel the real wolf back on its long body, lågburna its head and a biting force which far exceeds the dog. Therefore, one can in this phalanx easily make the difference between a wolf and a hybrid by looking at the skull space for jaw muscles.
Of: Kenneth Myntti