Can humans live with wolves like Mowgli?

The Mowgli story we grew up with may not be based entirely on fiction, as scientists have found that wolves can show an association with humans.

Researchers say that wild animals are able to distinguish between strangers and people they know, and show much more affection to those they are familiar with than dogs. Researchers at Stockholm University in Sweden tested 10 wolves and 12 dogs to investigate their behavior in strange and stressful situations.

Wolves showed affection for the caregiver they knew best by getting close to them and spending more time with them, a finding that contradicts the idea that dogs’ attachment to humans did not develop until after they were tamed by humans.

Says lead author Dr. Christina Hansen-Witt: “Dogs are known to have occurred at least 15,000 years ago, when gray wolves and dogs diverged from extinct wolf species.”

Many researchers believe that their ability to form a bond with humans evolved around the same time, likely over thousands of years, as they became tamed. Hansen Witt suggests that people may have bred dogs selectively based on a pre-existing characteristic of attachment.

To test this theory they used a behavioral test specifically designed to estimate attachment behaviors in dogs, called the Strange Attitude Test. This was originally developed for infants, but here it can reveal whether domestication affected dogs’ attachment to humans.

The procedure was in seven stages in which a familiar or stranger interacts with the test animal in a room and its reactions are monitored. In one of these stages, the familiar and the stranger take turns entering and exiting the room in order to create a strange and stressful situation for the animal.

The theory is that this unstable environment will stimulate the animal’s attachment behaviors. As animals pass tests they look for signs of wolves and dogs that distinguish a familiar from a stranger. This can include showing more affection or spending more time greeting and physical contact with the person Fashionable.

The team bred wolves and dogs in similar conditions since they were ten days old to prepare them for the test, which they conducted when they reached 23 weeks. Fashionable.

The presence of the familiar person acted as a social pressure buffer for the wolves, pacifying them in stressful situations, said behavioral ecologist Dr. Hansen Witt: “It was very clear that wolves, like dogs, preferred the familiar to the stranger, but perhaps the most interesting thing is that while dogs were not particularly affected by the hiding condition, wolves were.”

These findings, published today in the journal Ecology and Evolution, indicate that the ability to distinguish between a familiar and a stranger is not limited to dogs, and the authors conclude that human attachment was not bred in dogs through domestication, and could have arisen through breeding. Selective for wolves.

Dr. said Hansen Witt: “If there is a difference in human-directed attachment behavior in wolves, this behavior may be a potential for early selective pressures exerted during canine taming.”

By Editor