[UCP Books]: How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut

“In the first book on the famous ‘Siberian fox study,’ this extraordinary chronicle recounts one of the world’s most important animal studies. It has not only provided stunning insights into how domestication works and how fast it can happen. It also helps us understand the origins of our deepest non-human bonds—our friendships with our dogs—and where and how they came into being.”
—Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel


 


 

How to Tame a Fox
(and Build a Dog)

Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution

Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut

US Publication: April 14, 2017 / International Publication: May 17, 2017

Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0-226-44418-5 / $26.00 / £19.50
 

 



 

Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails and floppy ears that are as docile and friendly as any lapdog. But, despite appearances, these are not dogs—they are foxes. They are the result of the most astonishing experiment in breeding ever undertaken—imagine speeding up thousands of years of evolution into a few decades. In 1959, biologists Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut set out to do just that, by starting with a few dozen silver foxes from fox farms in the USSR and attempting to recreate the evolution of wolves into dogs in real time in order to witness the process of domestication. This is the extraordinary, untold story of this remarkable undertaking. Trut has been there the whole time, and has been the lead scientist on this work since Belyaev’s death in 1985, and with Lee Dugatkin, biologist and science writer, she tells the story of the adventure, science, politics, and love behind it all. 

 

Lee Alan Dugatkin is an evolutionary biologist and historian of science in the department of biology at the University of Louisville. His books include The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness and Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: Natural History in Early America, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press. Lyudmila Trut is a professor of evolutionary genetics at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, in Novosibirsk, Siberia. She has been the lead researcher on the silver fox domestication experiment since 1959.


 



 

Please contact Levi Stahl at (773) 702 0289 or lstahl@press.uchicago.edu for more information.

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