View Full Version : Black Wolf of the Family

6th Feb 2009, 16:01
Today’s “National Post” offers an interesting note on Darwinism (Dr Greg Barsh of Stanford University Medical Centre; see “Science” published today). In the wild, wolves in Canada are all of the species grey wolf; but in the Arctic some appear white, because oddly enough, they are white and are even commonly called “white Arctic wolf”; natural selection, camouflage, and all that. You and I know better, though: in their hearts they are grey wolves.

The speed of environmental change, however, is often out of synchronisation with genetic adaptation, faster even, and this leaves the white Arctic cousins at a disadvantage when the ice and snow recede. Tough!

Less well known are the black wolves (of which there are none at all in Asia and Europe), who are also of course grey wolves, mainly forest-dwelling. Frankly, they look pretty dashed funny to your regular “grey” grey wolf, much as did Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to his oppos in analogous circumstances.

It seems that the origins of the black wolves go back some ten thousand years to interbreeding with dogs, a reversal of the wolf-to-dog evolution more usually assumed. The black gene, indeed, is the same as that found in black poodles and the Labrador. Makes you think.

In the shady woodland these black wolves enjoy advantage in camouflage and therefore disproportionate success in the hunt. The result was inevitable. Research in the wolf-observing world reveals that your normal grey hunter in the grey pack sees these parahunters or preterpunters with the green eye of envy, and calls them nasty names, the most common being “Pseudl Poodl”. Rather sad, really.

tony draper
6th Feb 2009, 16:42
One ponders on what possible advantage is gained by large numbers of humans (in the west anyway) turning into porkers? one can understand humans becoming taller for the last couple of centuries,one suspects in times past when men fought toe to toe with sword spear and cudgel that tall chaps stood out on the battle field and were picked on more often thus removing them from the gene pool leaving just shorties to carry on the line,however with the development of industrialized warfare the short arses very probably bought the farm as often as the tall chaps.
Folks turning into fatties is a bit baffling though.

6th Feb 2009, 16:44
Folks turning into fatties is a bit baffling though.

In addition they are more work for the undertakers.

6th Feb 2009, 17:01
Here in Letchworth we have black squirrels within the grey squirrel population, again due to the black gene.

We also have fatties, due to the 'junk food gene'

tony draper
6th Feb 2009, 17:09
Nah, don't think it is as simple as blaming it on junk food or our cubs not running around as much as they did in times past, some drastic genetic change has occurred in my opinion,we slim type oldies were brung up on a diet of pure stodge that would horrify the food nazis now,and as one recalls one was very reluctant in the running about thing as well.

6th Feb 2009, 20:54
That's all very well TD but have you taken your "sharp stabbing pains" to meet the Doc, as recommended by he of the gall bladder problem? One only asks out of concern.
We need crabby old buggers in these times and I can't do it all on my own.
I no longer have the chap who was my best man because he wouldn't go to the quack until we threatened to carry him there bodily. By then it was too late. Cut along now there's a good chap.
The Ancient Mariner

9th Feb 2009, 01:29
Nah, don't think it is as simple as blaming it on junk food

...'tis the fridge and air tight packaging, allowing one to snack between meals ... a snack when I were a kid was the crust off an unsliced loaf that was made of antimatter...

Recently spent 5 weeks in rural SE Asia - lost a kilo a week

12th Feb 2009, 18:15
Dave, whilst largely ignored, this pearl, after inhaling the burning vapours of some fine quality skunk, has finally begun to appeal to me. It's not "making me think," however. Whatever became of pseudl poodle? More, more.... :D

tony draper
12th Feb 2009, 19:06
Perhaps the imminent return of the hungry thirties predicted to hit us shortly will see a end to the plague of obesity.

12th Feb 2009, 19:30
We were taught that the growth spurt evinced by the Western civilizations in the last two hundred years is almost entirely due to better feeding. That would apply both to height and width.

13th Feb 2009, 09:28
One isn't actually black, nor a sheep. I'm really grey and dressed in another's clothing... :suspect:

13th Feb 2009, 13:58
Moths readily adapt.

13th Feb 2009, 14:06
Moths don't live very long! Not if I spot 'em.

Can anyone explain the PURPOSE of moths?
Apart from being a food source for bats?