How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) (Kobo eBook)

How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) By Lee Alan Dugatkin, Lyudmila Trut Cover Image
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This true story of an amazing breeding experiment in Siberia is “part science, part Russian fairy tale, and part spy thriller” (The New York Times Book Review).

Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails and floppy ears that are as docile and friendly as any lapdog. But despite appearances, these are not dogs—they are foxes. They are the result of the most astonishing experiment in breeding ever undertaken—imagine speeding up thousands of years of evolution into a few decades. In 1959, biologists Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut set out to do just that, starting with a few dozen silver foxes from fox farms in the USSR and attempting to recreate the evolution of wolves into dogs in real time in order to witness the process of domestication. This is the extraordinary, untold story of this remarkable undertaking.

Most accounts of the natural evolution of wolves place it over a span of about 15,000 years, but within a decade, Belyaev and Trut’s fox breeding experiments had resulted in puppy-like foxes with floppy ears, piebald spots, and curly tails. Along with these physical changes came genetic and behavioral changes, and with each generation, they became increasingly interested in human companionship. To date, fifty-six generations of foxes have been domesticated. In this book Trut, along with biologist and science writer Lee Dugatkin, tells the story of the adventure, science, politics, and love behind it all. Dugatkin and Trut take us inside this path-breaking experiment in the midst of the brutal Siberian winters to reveal how scientific history is made and continues to be made today.

“The science is profound, but the authors write accessibly and engagingly—and their vulpine subjects are awfully cute, too. Of compelling interest to any animal lover.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A cheerful, easy-to-read account. . . . spin[s] complex genetic science into a fascinating story about adorable foxes.” —Publishers Weekly

“An extraordinary story.” —Times Literary Supplement

Product Details
ISBN-13: 9780226444215
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2017