Sly like a (domesticated) fox
In 1959, Soviet geneticist Dmitri Belyaev started an ambitious experiment to study the origins of domestication: he would attempt to breed domesticated wild foxes by selecting on their behavior alone, a process he imagined our ancestors carried out with dogs thousands of years before.
This hour, a look at the history and progress of this still-ongoing experiment: What can it tell us about our animal companions — and ourselves?
Plus, we catch up with some domesticated fox owners and find out if foxes are good pets in real life.
- Amy and David Bassett - Founders of the Judith A. Bassett Canid Education and Conservation Center and the owners of several Russian domesticated foxes
- Lee Dugatkin - Author of How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution
- Jacob Mikanowski - Writes about science, history, and art
Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, Cat Pastor, and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired July 26, 2017.