The Mother of All Dogs
Not surprisingly, our wolf eye ring is one of the most popular pieces of animal eye jewelry that we offer.
Scientific analysis also shows that every dog on the planet has the wolf as an ancestor. Almost every modern breed of dog was created by humans, and most of them were brought into being for a specific purpose. Some were designed to go after specific vermin populations like rats and mice, while others were created because they looked cute.
Having evolved over 300,000 years ago, the wolf is the only remaining canine that is native to our planet. Specifically referred to as the gray wolf or timber wolf, this breed of mammal is closely related to similar but smaller animals like the jackal and coyote, and wolves can interbreed with these related species.
The old wives tale about wolves being evil and harmful does not appear to be based in fact, and is contradicted by studies showing that wolves can easily interpret human intentions. It seems logical to assume that a wolf would run the other way once it understood it was being targeted and killed by humans.
The most sensible reason for the few recorded wolf attacks on humans is most probably that either the wolf was infected with rabies or was starving to death.
Why Domesticate a Wolf?
Why did humans choose wolves for domestication and selective breeding? Aside from the fact that wolves are aggressive hunters and excellent at locating prey animals, and that they are relatively intelligent (though not as intelligent as monkeys), the probable answer is that wolves are particularly adept at interpreting human behavior.
Some studies about the evolution of all the various kinds of dogs suggest that at some point in the distant past, wild wolves, (probably lone wolves without pack protection and thus less aggressive than most others), came into contact with humans in order to survive. Once the meetings took place, and the wild animals realized they wouldn’t be instantly killed, the alliance was a natural, and dogs have been “man’s best friend” for hundreds of thousands of years.
However, breeding these dogs for specific purposes has a downside. Almost all modern breeds have inherited genetic flaws. Jack Russel Terriers are prone to blindness, Chihuahuas have a proclivity for arthritis, and Boxers can often develop skin allergies.
What do Superman and the Gray Wolf Have in Common?
There have been multitudinous scientific studies about the effects of removing predators from the environment, but not many about what happens when predators are reintroduced.
Almost extinct and currently a threatened or endangered species (depending upon who is giving the opinion), gray wolves were exterminated in Yellowstone National Park about 100 years ago.
Recently they were reintroduced back into the environment and the results were nothing short of amazing.
The National Geographic Society created a documentary about the effects that wolves have on the territory they inhabit.
Introducing a pack of Canadian wolves into Yellowstone had astonishing effects not only on the landscape, but on many other animals and plants. So extraordinary were the beneficial results that the park has become even more beautiful and environmentally sound than it has ever been in the past.
While some people consider the gray wolf a threat, others believe they are a valuable part of our ecosystem. And just as Superman can change the course of mighty rivers, the course of the Yellowstone River was altered, for the better, by the noble and majestic gray wolf.