July’s issue of Natural History Magazine includes an excerpt from Xiaoming Wang and Richard Tedford’s Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History. The excerpt also features the stunning illustrations of Mauricio Anton.
While there is no shortage of books that examine the domesticated dog, Wang and Tedford’s work, based on extensive fossil research traces the history of dogs back more than 30 million years. As the authors show, the success and longevity of the dog family can be attributed to its expertise in hunting its prey, its resiliency, and its ability to adapt to changes in the environment. An article about the book in the Naturalist writes, “Thanks to successful migrations and flexible adaptations, canids are the most widely spread living carnivores in the world and the top predators in modern North and South America, Australia, and northern Eurasia….They have achieved a longevity and diversity unrivaled by any other group of carnivores.”