Wild Dog Evolution Essay

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Evolutionary Biologist Stephen Jay Gould once discussed that evolution is the starting point of great realizations, “Evolution is a process of constant branching and expansion”. This statement has held true over many years, especially when looking into the tributes and trials the African Wild Dog has undergone to thrive and succumb to environmental pressures.
The African Wild Dog (hereafter wild dog) is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. Being the only extant family member of Lycaon, the wild dog forms part of the Canis family due to its morphological characteristics. The UICN Red List (2016) estimates the African Wild Dog population at 6,600 adults.
Temminck (1820) first made the discovery of the wild dog but incorrectly classified the species as Hyaena picta the hyena. The wild dog had been linked back to ancestors from the Pleistocene epoch, shared characteristics to a familial match. Few fossils have been found to follow the lineage of the Lycaon family as the fossils are too indistinct to be
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Therefore, extensive research is being done on wild dogs in captivity and those sub-populations lucky enough to be free-ranging. Major Histocompatibility Complex genotyping is researched and practiced to determine if the gene complexes of the wild dog species has changed and how it affects the low density populations living in ecosystem that have high density habitats. Wild dogs have shown to have lower MHC variation than other canid species. Why is this? It could be due to the fact that the wild dog species is more susceptible to diseases and infections. Multiple loss of important species across the African continent has been a loss to genetic variation. A loss to genetic variation is an important and devastating loss to genetic material. MHC has shown the dog leukogen antigen (DLA) is also more predisposed to certain diseases and other alleles will be more resistant to some

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