The Gray, Gray World of Wolves

Watts Up With That?

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

Carl Zimmer of the New York Times gives us this story:  DNA Study Reveals the One and Only Wolf Species in North America.

“The first large study of North American wolf genomes has found that there is only one species on the continent: the gray wolf. Two other purported species, the Eastern wolf and the red wolf, are mixes of gray wolf and coyote DNA, the scientists behind the study concluded.

The finding, announced Wednesday, highlights the shortcomings of laws intended to protect endangered species, as such laws lag far behind scientific research into the evolution of species.”

Bridgett M. vonHoldt of Princeton University  who  studies the genome of the canids (mammals of the dog family – Canidae) – that is domestic and wild dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals and dingoes —  in her most recent study, highlighted by Zimmer, concludes that all…

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