Re: apes and men

Stephen Barnard (
Sat, 03 Aug 1996 06:29:54 -0800

> I was doing some research for a story a while back and came
> across an interesting tidbit. It's been a while and I don't remember
> the sources offhand and can't vouch for the accuracy, but IIRC, dogs
> and wolves have the same number of chromosome pairs. Jackals have a
> number that's one different. However, dogs, wolves, and jackals can
> all interbreed _and_ produce fertile offspring. So, if both my memory
> and my sources are accurate it would seem that different numbers of
> chromosomes are not necessarily an impediment to a cross-breed.
> --
> David L. Burkhead "If I had eight hours to cut down
> a tree, I'd spend seven sharpening
> FAX: 330-253-4490 my axe." Attributed to Abraham
> SpaceCub Lincoln

Be careful here. I don't have any sure knowledge that dogs and jackals
*can't* produce fertile offspring, but I do know that Konrad Lorenz
(famous ethologist) once speculated that dogs are descended from *both*
wolves and jackals. This is totally discredited -- dogs descend only
from wolves, and in fact both wolves and dogs should be classified as
the same species. Lorenz himself acknowledges that he was wrong.

Steve Barnard