Scientists have discovered why dogs love to eat meat and bones.

Living and hunting in groups coincided with a shift in dogs’ diets, scientists analysing their ancestry found.

The animals adopted pack-living about eight million years ago in order to hunt larger prey, according to a team from the National University of Colombia.

The resulting evolution of their jaws gradually turned the ancestors of our domestic pets into “hypercarnivores”.

Dr Joao Munoz-Doran from the university presented the findings from his study of at the First Joint Congress for Evolutionary Biology in Ottawa, Canada.

He and his colleagues have created a canine “family tree”, piecing together the relationships between each of the more than 300 dog species.

This map of canine evolution showed approximately when each species evolved, and it allowed the scientists to understand how an animal’s lifestyle and habitat was connected to the shape of its skull.

Read more at BBC Nature

Published On: July 9, 2012

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