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The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris or Canis familiaris) is a domesticated canid which has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviours, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes.
Although initially thought to have originated as an artificial variant of an extant canid species (variously supposed as being the dhole, golden jackal, or gray wolf), extensive genetic studies undertaken during the 2010s indicate that dogs diverged from an extinct wolf-like canid in Eurasia 40,000 years ago. Their long association with humans has led to dogs being uniquely attuned to human behavior and able to thrive on a starch-rich diet which would be inadequate for other canid species. Dogs are also the oldest domesticated animal.
Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet, ,,man's best friend".
The term ,,domestic dog" is generally used for both domesticated and feral varieties. The English word dog comes from Middle English dogge, from Old English docga, a "powerful dog breed". The term may possibly derive from Proto-Germanic *dukkōn, represented in Old English finger-docce (,,finger-muscle"). The word also shows the familiar petname diminutive -ga also seen in frogga ,,frog", picga ,,pig", stagga "stag", wicga "beetle, worm", among others. The term dog may ultimately derive from the earliest layer of Proto-Indo-European vocabulary.
In 14th-century England, hound (from Old English: hund) was the general word for all domestic canines, and dog referred to a subtype of hound, a group including the mastiff. It is believed this ,,dog" type was so common, it eventually became the prototype of the category ,,hound". By the 16th century, dog had become the general word, and hound had begun to refer only to types used for hunting. The word "hound" is ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *kwon-, ,,dog".
A male canine is referred to as a dog, while a female is called a bitch. The father of a litter is called the sire, and the mother is called the dam. (Middle English bicche, from Old English bicce, ultimately from Old Norse bikkja) The process of birth is whelping, from the Old English word hwelp. A litter refers to the multiple offspring at one birth which are called puppies or pups from the French poupée.
The dog is classified as Canis lupus familiaris under the Biological Species Concept and Canis familiaris under the Evolutionary Species Concept.
In 1758, the taxonomist Linnaeus published in Systema Naturae a categorization of species which included the Canis species. Canis is a Latin word meaning dog, and the list included the dog-like carnivores: the domestic dog, wolves, foxes and jackals. The dog was classified as Canis familiaris, which means ,,Dog-family" or the family dog. On the next page he recorded the wolf as Canis lupus, which means ,,Dog-wolf". In 1978, a review aimed at reducing the number of recognized Canis species proposed that "Canis dingo is now generally regarded as a distinctive feral domestic dog. Canis familiaris is used for domestic dogs, although taxonomically it should probably be synonymous with Canis lupus." In 1982, the first edition of Mammal Species of the World listed Canis familiaris under Canis lupus with the comment: "Probably ancestor of and conspecific with the domestic dog, familiaris. Canis familiaris has page priority over Canis lupus, but both were published simultaneously in Linnaeus (1758), and Canis lupus has been universally used for this species", which avoided classifying the wolf as the family dog. The dog is now listed among the many other Latin-named subspecies of Canis lupus as Canis lupus familiaris.
In 2003, the ICZN ruled in its Opinion 2027 that if wild animals and their domesticated derivatives are regarded as one species, then the scientific name of that species is the scientific name of the wild animal. In 2005, the third edition of Mammal Species of the World upheld Opinion 2027 with the name Lupus and the note: "Includes the domestic dog as a subspecies, with the dingo provisionally separate - artificial variants created by domestication and selective breeding". However, Canis familiaris is sometimes used due to an ongoing nomenclature debate because wild and domestic animals are separately recognizable entities and that the ICZN allowed users a choice as to which name they could use, and a number of internationally recognized researchers prefer to use Canis familiaris.
Later genetic studies strongly supported dogs and gray wolves forming two sister monophyletic clades within the one species, and that the common ancestor of dogs and extant wolves is extinct.
The origin of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris or Canis familiaris) is not clear. Whole genome sequencing indicates that the dog, the gray wolf and the extinct Taymyr wolf diverged at around the same time 27,000–40,000 years ago. These dates imply that the earliest dogs arose in the time of human hunter-gatherers and not agriculturists. Modern dogs are more closely related to ancient wolf fossils that have been found in Europe than they are to modern gray wolves. Nearly all dog breeds' genetic closeness to the gray wolf are due to admixture, except several Arctic dog breeds are close to the Taimyr wolf of North Asia due to admixture.
Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia (also called Metazoa). All animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently at some point in their lives. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their lives. All animals are heterotrophs: they must ingest other organisms or their products for sustenance.
Most known animal phyla appeared in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion, about 542 million years ago. Animals can be divided broadly into vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrates have a backbone or spine (vertebral column), and amount to less than five percent of all described animal species. They include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The remaining animals are the invertebrates, which lack a backbone. These include molluscs (clams, oysters, octopuses, squid, snails); arthropods (millipedes, centipedes, insects, spiders, scorpions, crabs, lobsters, shrimp); annelids (earthworms, leeches), cnidarians (jellyfish, sea anemones, corals), and sponges.
The word "animal" comes from the Latin animalis, meaning having breath, having soul or living being. In everyday non-scientific usage the word excludes humans – that is, "animal" is often used to refer only to non-human members of the kingdom Animalia; often, only closer relatives of humans such as mammals, or mammals and other vertebrates, are meant. The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the kingdom Animalia, encompassing creatures as diverse as sponges, jellyfish, insects, and humans.
Aristotle divided the living world between animals and plants, and this was followed by Carl Linnaeus, in the first hierarchical classification. In Linnaeus's original scheme, the animals were one of three kingdoms, divided into the classes of Vermes, Insecta, Pisces, Amphibia, Aves, and Mammalia. Since then the last four have all been subsumed into a single phylum, the Chordata, whereas the various other forms have been separated out.
In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into two subkingdoms: Metazoa (multicellular animals) and Protozoa (single-celled animals). The protozoa were later moved to the kingdom Protista, leaving only the metazoa. Thus Metazoa is now considered a synonym of Animalia.
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