Why are the different dog breeds not classed as different subspecies?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by visceral_instinct, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    Surely a poodle, for example, should be considered a different subspecies to an Alsatian? They are hugely different physically..
     
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  3. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    The same reason different human races aren't different sub species.
    A dog itself is a sub specie of wolf...canis lupus familiaris.
     
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Because of the definition of species. They can all still mate and have viable offspring.
     
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  7. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    Understood. But what kind of situation do you have when you cross a horse with a donkey and get a mule (which are healty, living animals) but FWIU, mules are infertile?
     
  8. jnc1110 Registered Senior Member

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    Let me take you back to Biology 101, my friend. A species is an organism that can breed and produce viable offspring among its own. Species can diverge quite rapidly, as with cohorts of Drosophila differentially evolving over a period of only 4 months. Because all dogs can breed among themselves, they're all the same species; duh. That would be like saying that human races should be categorized as different subspecies.
     
  9. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Viable=fertile. There are certain situations where the definition breaks down, and that's because species is really just a human definition. It's useful most of the time.

    For instance, say we went back in time 1,000 years, grabbed a human native, and went back another 1,000 years and found a human from the past to mate with them. They would produce viable offspring. Say you did it again, going further back in time with each pairing. You would always be able to produce viable offspring. With a thousand years separation, you could keep going back to 5 million years ago.

    If, however you were to try and mate with someone from 5 million years ago, chances are it wouldn't work (disregarding cultural differences).
     
  10. Algernon Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah. Different dog breeds are essentially how we see different genetic characteristics (ok my bad, phenotypic expressions) of human "races." Species are determined by members can provide viable offspring that can reproduce, unlike mules and ligers/tigons.

    Unless you want to classify different human races as different subspecies...

    Subspecies tends to refer to microbes... fungus and bacteria.
     
  11. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    I FUCKING KNOW THAT, however, there are different species that can hybridize and produce fully fertile offspring. (Hence the Lonicera fly.) False killer whales and bottle nosed dolphins can also mate to produce a fertile offspring. Fertile canid hybrids are also common.

    So it did seem reasonable to ask why two dogs so different in their body type as, say, an Alsatian and a toy poodle, are not considered different subspecies.
     
  12. stereologist Escapee from Dr Moreau Registered Senior Member

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    The definition of species is a bit tricky. It refers to gene pools more than the ability to mate and produce fertile offspring. Consider organisms that use asexual reproduction. They split and make more. What about squirrel populations split across the Grand Canyon?

    I think of the idea of species as being reproducing populations. Dogs may come in all sorts of forms, but they interbreed.

    Visceral instinct points out a number of cases in which interbreeding between species is possible, yet these are not the norm for the species involved. Their gene pools do not ordinarily get mixed.
     
  13. CapsOwn Registered Senior Member

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    To be honest, I don't really know. These people aren't very bright. He is talking about subspecies. Not species. Almost every canid in Canis lupus is a subspecies. For example, the Iberian Wolf is Canis lupus signatus. We have the Dingo, Canis lupus dingo, and we have the Eurasian Gray Wolf, Canis lupus lupus. Now of course there are more, but personally, I feel like the Iberian Wolf and the Eurasian Gray Wolf have a LOT more in common than a Dachshund and a Great Dane. Even the Dingo has more in common with both of those wolves. If all of those dog breeds can be called Canis lupus familiaris, it is a bit illogical to have separate taxon for the Gray Wolf and the Iberian Wolf. And to all of you who say that "it's because they can produce fertile offspring," well, this is all I have to say. All subspecies of Canis lupus can interbreed for an infinite number of generations, still producing fertile offspring. I do hope you realize that the wolf and the dog and the dingo are all the same species. If you don't, than this really won't have made much sense to you. Finally to everyone who doesn't understand the concept of a subspecies, all subspecies are exactly the same, genetically speaking. Usually, whenever a member of the species is radically different physically, or native to a completely different part of the world, they will be classified as a subspecies.
     
  14. tuberculatious Banned Banned

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    who decides on species?
     
  15. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Subspecies can typically interbreed. They're subcategories of the same species.
     
  16. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    I do.
     
  17. tuberculatious Banned Banned

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    are you a scientist?

    respect.
     
  18. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    No..

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  19. tuberculatious Banned Banned

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    i take respect back. no offense. you have to earn it.
     
  20. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    lol
    No offense taken

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    I did study Biology though

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  21. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    I learned that the classification below species was variety*. So different dog breeds would be differrent varieties of the species Canis familiaris.


    *From High School Biology:
    King-----------Kingdom
    Phylip---------Phylum
    Cried----------Class
    Oh-------------Order
    For-------------Family
    Goodness------Genus
    Sakes----------Species
    Victoria---------Variety​
     
  22. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    I think it's the same thing; 'subspecies' and 'variety'.

    Correction: Variety is below subspecies. Then comes subvariety, form, and subform.

    Also, all the other hierarchical names also have 'sub' and 'super' prefixes; subfamily, superfamily, etc.
    Plus you forgot 'tribe'

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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  23. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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