Old dogs gave new tricks to early man

Early humans may have imitated canine behaviour

source: Mark Henderson
Times March 27 2002 p11

Australian Researchers, Colin Pardoe and Paul Tacon, argue that early humans may have imitated canine behaviour, leading to the usage of early works of art as ways of marking territory. The researchers, from Sydney’s Australian Museum, note that most primates tend not to show territorial behaviour found in modern humans. They argue that wolves may have been domesticated as early as 130,000 years ago, when anatomically modern humans emerged in Africa. Humans may have observed dogs and wolves functioning as packs, a trait not usually found in primates, and humans may have seen this pack behaviour as a strategy that enabled them to deal with harsh environments. This could have helped the flow of ideas, culture and gene flow between groups of humans. The research has been published in ‘Nature Australia’.