We just discovered this incredibly novel research from the scientists at Brown University: it turns out that they’ve compared the North American dog fossil record to climate change data going back 40 million years and here’s what they found:
Old dogs can teach humans new things about evolution. In Nature Communications a new study of North American dog fossils as old as 40 million years suggests that the evolutionary path of whole groups of predators can be a direct consequence of climate change.
“It’s reinforcing the idea that predators may be as directly sensitive to climate and habitat as herbivores,” said Christine Janis, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University, who worked with lead author Borja Figueirido, a former Brown Fulbright postdoctoral researcher who is now a professor at the Universidad de Málaga in Spain. “Although this seems logical, it hadn’t been demonstrated before.”
On the next page, you’ll find out more about how the changing climate affected the evolution of both herbivores and predators like those earlier dogs…