Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails and floppy ears as cute, docile and friendly as any lapdog. But these are not dogs — they are foxes, the result of the most astonishing selective breeding experiment ever done. In an experiment begun in 1959 and still continuing today the work of two Soviet geneticists, Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut, has revolutionized scientific understanding of how humans domesticated wild animals. The original taming of wolves to create the domestic dog probably took thou-sands of years, but it took less than 60 years to domesticate the silver fox.
Author, evolutionist and historian of science Lee Alan Dugatkin tells both the human story and the science of how it was done.