Russian Students Going Home?

Russian Government Officials Told to Immediately Bring Back Children Studying Abroad

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Editor’s Note: While everyone is busy with the election, Russia continues to prep for war…


In Europe, when it gets serious, you have to lie… at least if you are an unelected bureaucrat like Jean-Claude Juncker. In Russia, however, when it gets serious, attention immediately turns to the children.

Which is why we read a report in Russian website Znak published Tuesday, according to which Russian state officials and government workers were told to bring back their children studying abroad immediately, even if means cutting their education short and not waiting until the end of the school year, and re-enroll them in Russian schools, with some concern. The article adds that if the parents of these same officials also live abroad “for some reason”, and have not lost their Russian citizenship, should also be returned to the motherland. Znak cited five administration officials as the source of the report.

The “recommendation” applies to all: from the administration staff, to regional administrators, to lawmakers of all levels. Employees of public corporations are also subject to the ordinance. One of the sources said that anyone who fails to act, will find such non-compliance to be a “complicating factor in the furtherance of their public sector career.” He added that he was aware of several such cases in recent months.

It appears that the underlying reason behind the command is that the Russian government is concerned about the optics of having children of the Russian political elite being educated abroad, while their parents appear on television talking about patriotism and being “surrounded by enemies.”

While we doubt the impacted children will be happy by this development, some of the more patriotic locals, if unimpacted, are delighted. Such as Vitaly Ivanov, a political scientist who believes that the measure to return children of officials from studying abroad, is “long overdue.” According Ivanoc, the education of children of the Russian elite abroad is subject to constant ridicule and derision against the ruling regime. “People note the hypocrisy of having a centralized state and cultivating patriotism and anti-Western sentiment, while children of government workers study abroad. You can not serve two gods, one must choose.”

On the other hand, political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky quoted by Znak, believes that such decisions should be approached with more pragmatism. Such a recommendation is more likely to lead to an outflow of officials from the state, rather than allow the return of the children studying at elite foreign universities. He also warned of attempts to recreate an echo chamber such as that experienced after the failed July coup attempt on Turkey’s President Erdogan.

But what he said next was more disturbing: “On the one hand, this is all part of a package of measures to prepare the elites for some ‘big war’ even if it is rather conditional, on the other hand – this is another blow to the unity of President Putin with his own elite” Belkovsky said. He adds that the Western sanctions launched in March 2014, had sought to drive a wedge between Putin and elites. In response, the Kremlin began to act precisely according to the logic of these sanctions. “But while a ban for having assets in the West is one thing, and understandable, when it comes to a ban for offshore health and education services, the blowback will be far greater, as it represents a far more important element of the establishment’s life strategy.”

Ultimately the motivation behind Putin’s decision is unclear: whether it is to show Russia’s high-ranking oligarchs who is boss, to boost a sense of patriotism among the nation by sending a symbolic message that the west is no longer a welcome destination for Russia’s rich kids, or just a preemptive move of repatriating of any individuals affiliated with Russian politics for other unknown reasons; however it underscores the severity of the ongoing diplomatic crisis and just how significant the upcoming isolation between Russia and the West is likely to become in the coming months – unless of course tensions deescalate dramatically in the very near future – resulting in even greater collapse in global commerce and a further slowdown to world economic growth, which may ultimately lead to an armed conflict, whether regional or global, as the only possible outcome.


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Huge Earthquake — Russia

Massive earthquake in Russia’s far east – Felt in Moscow and parts of China, India and Japan

Last update: May 24, 2013 at 11:25 am by By

– A large crack also appeared in a bridge in Jakutsk in eastern Siberia, only 1500 km west of the epicenter. Samara and Moscow are more than 6000 km east of the epicenter.

– Some damage reports arrive from Moskow and Samara, where a few buildings cracked. One building in Samara suffered major damage.
In St. Petersburg, one person was sick due to the shaking of the office tower.

– An other country, feeling this quake, is Kazakhstan. 20 people in Uralsk in western part of the country reported authorities they felt it.

– Seems that this quake was felt over the whole Eurasian plate. Russian media report that also some people in Romania felt it. We received reports from Finland and Denmark and a perso from Italy gave their report to ESMC.
In St. Peterburg one more building was evacuated. Both towns, Moscow and St. Petersburg, usually do not have any earthquakes. So people are frightened if it happenes.
There are still no news about damage from Kamtchatka. But usually those buildings widestand larger intensities than V, so no heavy damage is expected.

– Many parts of China were also affected by the quake. People from different provinces said they felt the quake, among them Heilongjiang, Gansu, Hubei, Chongqing, Jiangsu and Sichuan. No damage was reported from China.

– In Moscow at least two offica buildings were evacuated due to the quake. Several hundred people had to leave their workplace for some time. There are no damages reported, but some people in Moscow said they experienced an aftershock. No quake was registered around Moskow.

– Now a reader from Finland told us that this quake was felt there.

– No tsunami was registered on russian coast so far and the tsunami warning was lifted.
Russian newspaper confirm that this quake was also felt in St. Petersburg on Baltic Sea.

– We also received reports of people in Alaska and Canada who might have felt this quake. If you also felt it, please tell us.
So far, there are no reports of damage from Kamtchatka. There it was felt with moderate intensity. Also parts of western Siberia experienced a moderate shaking. People in Moskow and Tomsk report a weak shaking.
India and Japan also experienced only a weak shaking.

– In Petropavlosvsk this quake caused panic. People ran out of their buildings, schools were evacuated.

– The earthquake was felt in many parts of Russia, including Siberia and Moscow. Also people in Japan and India felt this quake. There is a tsunami warning for the russian pacific coasts.

– There exists a very very low tsunami threat from this M8.2 off Kamchatka if the 600km depth is correct.

– The cool subducting plate off the Pacific, slowly moves down into the mantle, and these bits of old crust can still be brittle enough to make big earthquakes, even 600km down.


   ORIGIN TIME - 0745 PM HST 23 MAY 2013




USGS gives this massive earthquake with M 8.2, luckily in a relatively safe depth of more than 600 km.

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 8.3

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-05-24 05:44:48

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 605 km


Meteor Hits Russia

Meteorite – not the end of the world – strikes Russia’s Siberia

A bus-sized meteor exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains, sparking speculation about everything from a missile attack to the end of the world. The shock waves smashed windows and damaged buildings.

By Fred Weir | Christian Science Monitor

  • Russian meteorite caught on tape; injuries reportedKABC – Los Angeles  0:56A meteor hit over Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday, causing sharp explosions and reportedly injuring …

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A meteor the size of a bus exploded in the atmosphere over the Russian Urals city of Chelyabinsk Friday, terrifying thousands with blinding light flashes and powerful sonic booms that shattered windows, damaged buildings, and injuries may be heading toward 1,000, mainly due to flying glass and debris.

Thanks to the proliferation of new technologies like CCTV and dashboard cameras in cars, the dazzling meteor shower that hit the far-western Siberian region may be the first event of its kind in history to be filmed from almost every angle.

Dozens of videos have cropped up on YouTube and other social media, and they offer an astounding glimpse of what happens when a huge hunk of rock, estimated at about 10 tons, plows into the atmosphere at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour. It disintegrated in a series of bright flashes while still several miles above the Earth’s surface.

According to eyewitnesses quoted by the Ekho Moskvi radio station, the event began around 9 a.m. local time, when it was not yet full daylight. The station said that thousands of people rushed into the frigid streets, looking up at the fiery contrails in the sky, with many wondering if it was an air disaster, a missile attack, or the end of the world.

“My ears popped, the windows in our building are smashed, everyone says an airplane exploded. My cellphone stopped working for awhile,” said one witness from Chelyabinsk.

“I was driving to work and suddenly there was this flash that lit everything up like bright sunlight,” said another. “The shock wave nearly drove me off the road.”

Close to 1,000 people were reported injured, but only three seriously enough to be hospitalized, according to the official RIA-Novosti agency. Windows were blown out across a wide area, and several buildings were reported damaged, including a Chelyabinsk factory, whose roof caved in.

Pieces of the meteor have been reported coming down across several regions in western Siberia and even nearby Kazakhstan. Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that soldiers have located a 20-ft.-wide crater near a lake in Chelyabinsk region.

Russia‘s military may have known of the impending meteor strike several days in advance, but did not issue any special public warnings, according to the independent Rosbalt news agency (link in Russian).

“The preliminary data about its size and composition suggested it would break up in the atmosphere. There was no cause for alarm,” the agency quoted an unnamed Defense Ministry official as saying.

Experts say that such meteor showers are not uncommon, but this one was much bigger than usual, and it occurred over a major population center in the early morning, where huge numbers of people could watch it. Chelyabinsk is an industrial city of about 1 million.

“Judging by the intensity of the shock waves, this was a body at least 30 ft. in diameter and weighing around 10 tons. That’s a big one,” says Nikolai Chugai, a department head at the official Institute of Astronomy in Moscow.

“It came in very fast, at a shallow angle, and disintegrated in an arc across the sky. That accounts for the amazing sound-and-light show…. If it had come in vertically, it would have been way more destructive, but over a smaller area,” he adds.

The European Space Agency reported Friday that there is no connection between the meteor that hit Russia and the huge 165-ft. diameter asteroid known as DA14, which is due to pass within 17,000 miles of Earth – less distance than satellites in geosynchronous orbit – within the next day or so.

“It did a lot of damage, but what do you expect?” asks Nikolai Zheleznov, an expert with the Institute of Applied Astronomy in St. Petersburg. “A meteorite is a large projectile, like a bomb, that enters the atmosphere at high speed. Imagine the kinetic energy in a rock 30 ft. across. When it comes roaring into the atmosphere, the air density is like a solid wall that it slams into. Kinetic energy turns to heat, and then there is percussion….

“We live in a solar system that’s full of asteroids and meteorites. There’s no avoiding them. Thousands of tons of meteorites fall onto the Earth every year, far more than we can even keep track of. So, try not to worry too much.”


Russia To Quit Kyoto Protools?

Russia hints plans to quit Kyoto Protocol October 18, 2012 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Enlarge Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date. “One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol,” news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, pictured on October 12, as telling a government meeting. Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date.
“One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol,” news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as telling a government meeting. “That does not mean that we have to try and drag it (the treaty) out any further,” Medvedev added. European diplomats at the May G8 summit in France said that Russia along with Japan and Canada had confirmed plans not to join the second round of carbon cuts. Russia ratified the treaty in 2004. It has since argued that its terms harm developing nations. Medvedev noted that he had said on repeated occasions in the past that “if the world community fails to agree on Kyoto, we would wave it goodbye.” He said he was thinking of extending the treaty’s terms with EU nations alone. “But considering our uneasy relations with the European Union, I am not sure how likely this scenario will be,” he said. A range of EU nations are probing Russian energy natural gas giant Gazprom for price-fixing and other unfair practices under its new Energy Charter Treaty. Medvedev did not explain his reasoning beyond the mention of Russia’s failure to tap into the profits it could have earned had it sold other nations unused carbon emission credits from its domestic producers. (c) 2012 AFP

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Earthquake — Sea of Okhotsk, Russia

Earthquakes list August 14, 2012

Last update: August 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm by By

Massive very deep earthquake in the sea of Okhotsk
A Magnitude 7.7 (updated from 7.3 by USGS) earthquake hit the sea of Okhotsk 160 km from Poronaysk, Russia although it was a massive earthquake the depth of  625 km has decreased the shaking strongly, making it a IV on the Mercalli scale (light shaking) for a very wide area, no tsunami is possible because of the depth.
The earthquake has been felt as far as Japan!


Daylight Savings Times Tales

5 Crazy Chapters in the History of Daylight Saving Time

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 09 March 2012 Time: 03:11 PM ET
The sun rises over the Atlantic ocean.
The purpose of daylight saving time is to sync people’s lives with the sun.
CREDIT: Roman SigaevShutterstock

On Sunday, most Americans will wake up only to realize they’ve lost an hour of their weekend to daylight saving time — the price we pay for eight months of well-lit evenings.

Unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii, which don’t observe daylight saving, you’re probably used to this routine by now. But the history ofdaylight saving time has been anything but peaceful, from its first wartime introduction to its ongoing controversy today.

Bright idea

Ben Franklin gets credit for thinking up the idea of daylight saving time, albeit with his trademark wit. As ambassador to Paris, Franklin wrote a letter to the Journal of Paris in 1784 of his “discovery” that the sun gives light as soon as it rises, and needling Parisians for their night-owl, candle-burning ways.

Ben Franklin had the basic concept,” said David Prerau, author of “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time” (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005). What Franklin lacked, Prerau said, was a useful way to force everyone into living by the sun’s rules — other than some “humorous ideas” that Parisians surely wouldn’t have found very funny, including shooting off cannons at sunrise every morning.

Others took daylight saving time much more seriously, particularly William Willett, an Englishman who loved his early-morning horseback rides, Prerau told LiveScience; Willett he couldn’t believe that everyone else wanted to sleep in after the sun came up. He also touted the benefits of longer hours of daylight in the evenings.

Willett managed to get the idea of moving the clock forward during the summer months proposed in Parliament in 1908, but it was shot down.

“Willett was a steadfast guy, and so he proposed it again in 1909, 1910, 1911, and Parliament rejected it all those times,” Prerau said.

Willett might have kept this up, but he died in 1915, never to see his beloved daylight saving plan reach fruition.

Wartime rally

If Willett couldn’t convince the British populace that daylight saving time was needed, the Germans could. In 1916, with World War I ratcheting up, Germany put itself on daylight saving time to save energy for the war effort. Britain followed a month later.

When the United States got involved in the war in 1918, they too instituted daylight saving time. President Woodrow Wilson even wanted to keep the new system after the war ended. But at the time, the country was mostly rural. Farmers hated the time change, because their jobs were dependent on the sun, and daylight saving time put them out of sync with the city people who sold them goods and bought their products. Congress repealed daylight saving time, Wilson vetoed the repeal, and Congress promptly overrode his veto, a fairly rare occurrence.

“It’s been contentious,” Prerau said.

Total confusion

When World War II hit, daylight saving time came back into vogue, again to save energy for the war effort. The U.S. instituted daylight saving time less than a month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Prerau said. This time, though, America’s increasingly industrialized population wasn’t as keen on losing their post-work daylight after the war ended. So when the national law requiring the time switch was repealed, some towns stuck with daylight saving.

It was chaos. One 35-mile bus ride from Moundsville, W.Va., to Steubenville, Ohio, took riders through no less than seven different time changes, Prerau said. At one point, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul were on different clocks, creating confusion for workers who lived in one city and commuted to the other.

“The suburbs didn’t know what to do at all,” Prerau said.

Uniform time

This every-town-for-itself system couldn’t last long. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time act of 1966, specifying that states didn’t have to get on the daylight saving bandwagon, but that if they did, the whole state had to comply. And the federal government would determine the days of “springing forward” and “falling back,” the law stated, eliminating the problem of towns and cities setting their own daylight saving dates.

Expanding daylight saving

Since that time, Congress has expanded the length of daylight saving time three times, once in the 1970s during the country’s energy crisis, once in the 1980s, when April got brought under the daylight saving umbrella, and finally in 2007. Today, daylight saving time encompasses March into November.

The reasoning given for each of these changes was to save energy, Prerau said, but there are other benefits to springing forward. Fewer cars on the road on dark evenings mean fewer traffic accidents. And more daylight means more outdoor exercise for the after-work crowd.

On the other hand, expanding daylight saving time to encompass any more of the year might cause trouble. Russia shifted their clock to permanent daylight saving time in 2011, which worked fine until the depths of winter. Suddenly, the sun was rising at 10 a.m. in Moscow and 11 a.m. in St. Petersburg, Prerau said. People aren’t fond of starting their days in the pitch-black, he said, and now there’s talk of reversing the decision.


Dutch Sinse on Pole SHift

1/8/2012 — German ‘SWARM’ satellites to study Pole Shift — Launching early 2012

Posted on January 9, 2012

watch the video here:




Euronews put out this news in Oct. 2011 — announcing what the “SWARM” satellite array will do — they announced the project for “early 2012″.

Word has come to me that the launch will be announced shortly. This study will measure the movement of the earths magnetic poles.

Here is the original story:…

here’s my original video from Oct. 2011 — no longer on my list mirrored by a viewer –…




Russian Yeti Nests

eti ‘Nests’ Found in Russia?

Benjamin Radford, Life’s Little Mysteries Contributor
Date: 18 November 2011 Time: 02:09 PM ET
Reward Offered for Mysterious Monsters

Bigfoot researcher and biologist John Bindernagel claims his research group has found evidence that the Yeti (a Russian “cousin” of the American Bigfoot) not only exists, but builds nests and shelters by twisting tree branches together.

“We didn’t feel like the trees we saw in Siberia had been done by a man or another mammal…. Twisted trees like this have also been observed in North America and they could fit with the theory that Bigfoot makes nests. The nests we have looked at are built around trees twisted together into an arch shape,” Bindernagel told the British tabloid The Sun.

Tree twisting, also called splintering, has been claimed as Bigfoot evidence for decades throughout the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. In some cases tool markings have been found on trees said to have been twisted by Bigfoot. This suggests that the creatures are even possibly more intelligent than previously suspected and may be able to somehowlocate and use pliers, monkey wrenches, and other common hardware tools.

Unless the marks were made by human hoaxers.

Although many of the “mysteriously” twisted tree limbs are conveniently near ground level, some are found at the top of trees. Bigfoot researchers claim these are stronger evidence of the Yeti’s existence, because whereas any hoaxer could easily twist small, waist-level branches, only a Bigfoot-like animal would be able to climb up that high.

However, that raises the not-insignificant question of how a huge, heavy animal would get to the top of a tree without breaking it, or at least snapping a few branches on the way up. Bigfoot are often said to be between 8-and-12-feet tall and weigh several hundred pounds; surely if such a tall, heavy animal made its way up a tree – most of the trees that have been found twisted are spindly in nature – there would be much more obvious damage than a few woven branches at the very top. And if Bigfoot and Yetis spend time perched at the tops of trees doing arboreal decorating, why aren’t they spotted more often?

There’s even more reason to be skeptical of Bindernagel’s claim. According to Sharon Hill of the Doubtful News blog, another scientist who participated in the same Russian expedition concluded that hoaxing was afoot. At a Bigfoot conference that Hill attended last month, Jeff Meldrum (a professor of anatomy and anthropologist at Idaho State Universitywho endorses the existence of Bigfoot) said that he suspected the twisted tree branches had been faked. Not only was there obvious evidence of tool-made cuts in the supposedly “Yeti-twisted” branches, but the trees were conveniently located just off a well-traveled trail.

Meldrum, who eventually concluded that the whole Russian expedition was more of a publicity stunt than a serious scientific endeavor, refused to sign the group’s statement endorsing “indisputable proof” of the Yeti, and returned to the United States. Others, including Bindernagel, remain convinced that conclusive Yeti and Bigfoot evidence is just around the corner — a belief that the Bigfoot community has clung to for more than half a century.


Strong Earthquake-Amur Region of Russia

Very strong shallow dangerous earthquake in Amur area, Russia – many aftershocks are reported

Last update: October 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm by By 

arthquake overview : A 5.9 magnitude strong earthquake hit Amurskaya Oblast, Russia. The hypocenter was located at 13.8 km depth. The epicenter was close to Skovordino a town with over 10,000 inhabitants.



Village and landscape in the earthquake area – image courtesy Tanya Konchik

UPDATE 10:54 UTC : We have found no evidence yet of serious damage and/or injuries

UPDATE: Authorities are talking about “awave of aftershocks“. People walking in the streets of Chita said that “The buildings were moving objects“.

UPDATE: The power supply was temporarily down because of the failure of 2 power substations at Bam. 4 hours 25 minutes later evrything was back to normal.

UPDATE: The earthquake has been calledAmur earthquake by local authorities.

UPDATE:  According to experts, the epicenter of the earthquake was located 7 km east of the village Tahtamygda Skovorodinsky district, 134 km southwest of Tynda

UPDATE:  * The power supply has been fixed, however as they expect new tremors, delays are expected.
* PAGER has updated the shaking damage estimate to be around $2-3 million (median estimate) .

UPDATE: The Russian Ministry for Emergency operations  reports that :  the  earthquake occurred in the Amur region, some 20 km from Skovorodinothe end point of the current 600,000 barrels/day ESPO pipeline where crude is loaded into railroad tanks for further transportation to Kozmino. Workers who are inspecting the pipeline have not yet reported any damage yet.

On the Domestication of Dogs

The skull of a domesticated canine.

The skull of the fossil dog found in Siberia.

Photograph courtesy Yaroslav Kuzmin, PLoS ONE

Christine Dell’Amore   National Geographic News  Published August 19, 2011

It took 33,000 years, but one Russian dog is finally having its day.

The fossilized remains of a canine found in the 1970s in southern Siberia’s Altay Mountains (see map) is the earliest well-preserved pet dog, new research shows.

Dogs—the oldest domesticated animals—are common in the fossil record up to 14,000 years ago. But specimens from before about 26,500 years ago are very rare. This is likely due to the onset of the last glacial maximum, when the ice sheets are at their farthest extent during an ice age.

With such a sparse historical record, scientists have been mostly in the dark as to how and when wolves evolved into dogs, a process that could have happened in about 50 to a hundred years.

“That’s why our find is very important—we have a very lucky case,” said study co-author Yaroslav Kuzmin, a scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk.

In the case of the Russian specimen, the animal was just on the cusp of becoming a fully domesticated dog when its breed died out.

(See dog-evolution pictures.)

Dogs Arose at Multiple Sites?

Kuzmin and colleagues recently used radiocarbon dating to examine the skull and jaw of the Russian dog in three independent laboratories. Each lab confirmed the fossil’s age at around 33,000 years old.

Burnt twigs also found at the site, known as Razboinichya Cave, suggest that hunter-gatherers used the space for something, and it’s likely the dog was their pet before its death from unknown causes, Kuzmin said.

Cold temperatures and nonacidic soil in the cave likely kept the dog’s remains from completely decaying, he added.

The team compared the Russian dog fossils with the bones of wild wolves, modern wolves, domesticated dogs, and early doglike canids that lived before 26,500 years ago.

The results showed that the dog—which probably looked like a modern-daySamoyed—most closely resembled fully domesticated dogs from Greenland in size and shape. That’s not to say the two dog types are related, though, since the new study didn’t run DNA analysis.

Because it wasn’t fully domesticated, the Russian dog retained some traits from its ancestors—namely wolf-like teeth. But the animal bore no other resemblance to ancient or modern wolves or to dog breeds from elsewhere in Russia, Kuzmin and colleagues found.

The discovery suggests that this dog began its association with humans independently from other breeds, which would mean that dog domestication didn’t have a single place of origin—contrary to some DNA evidence, the study said.

Curious Wolves Went to the Dogs

In general, dogs likely became domesticated when curious wolves began to hang around Stone Age people, who left butchered food remnants littering their camps, according to study co-author Susan Crockford, an anthropologist and zooarchaeologist at the University of Victoria in Canada.

This phenomenon occurred in Europe, the Middle East, and China, according to the study, published July 28 in the journal PLoS ONE.

Animals that were more comfortable around humans underwent changes in their growth rates—probably regulated by hormones—that eventually changed their reproductive patterns, sizes, and shapes, turning them into dogs, Crockford said by email.

For example, dogs became smaller, developed wider skulls, and gave birth to bigger litters than wolves, she said.

“The somewhat curious and less fearful ‘first founders’ became even more so as they interbred amongst themselves,” Crockford said.


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