Where did the Tibetan Mastiff get its ability to adapt to the plateau?

2020-11-20 | Animal Express Original |

The Tibetan Mastiff is a familiar and unfamiliar dog to most people. It is familiar because it once became popular all over the country, and many people have flocked to it. They are proud of having a Tibetan mastiff of good quality and pure blood.Unfamiliar means that most people have never seen the real Tibetan mastiff. They have only heard of it or seen it in photos or videos, and even confuse them with Mongolian mastiffs and Caucasian dogs.

Because of the collapse of the "Tibetan Mastiff economy", perhaps because of the excessive publicity and consumption of the merchants, people showed disdain when they mentioned the Tibetan Mastiff in the later period. In fact, the Tibetan Mastiff has not changed.It has to be just human heart.

Tibetan Mastiff is a high-altitude dog breed, mainly living on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and regardless of whether it is suitable for life in low-altitude areas, the Tibetan Mastiff alone is large in size, fierce, and extremely aggressive. It is a fierce dog and is not suitableRaised by ordinary people.

Facts have proved that this is indeed the case. The people who bought the Tibetan Mastiff with a hot mind at the beginning are also worried about how to deal with it.

In the past, most people on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau lived a nomadic life. The Tibetan mastiff was raised by them to prevent wild beasts. At the same time, they also assumed the role of companionship. However, with the popularization of modern life, some herdsmen began to live in settlement and modernized technologyAffected the traditional grazing methods, the Tibetan Mastiff is also losing its original role.

Tibetan Mastiff, one of the oldest dog breeds in China

Before the 1980s, Tibetan Mastiff was only popular among herders and other niche circles. As mentioned above, people did not raise it for show off.

Tibetan Mastiff is a very old dog breed in our country. Its characteristic is that it is huge and can grow to 50-80 kg. The hair volume is unusually strong. Many of them even cover their eyes and need to be trimmed manually. Because of itsWith a fierce personality and high loyalty, it was the best way to guard against wolves in an era when wild animals were rampant, so the Tibetan Mastiff was also a domestic dog raised by all herders.

Of course, there is another important reason. Only a few dog breeds such as the Tibetan Mastiff can adapt to high-altitude life. There are many excellent dog breeds in my country, and there are many dog ​​breeds that can be used as "shepherd dogs", but only the Tibetan Mastiff satisfies both The prerequisite for being able to fight and survive on the plateau.

It is rumored that a single Tibetan mastiff can deal with three wolves. Although the words are a lot of exaggeration, we can see the powerfulness of the Tibetan mastiff from this sentence. Later, the wild stray Tibetan mastiff did show people its superStrong strength, under the leadership of the Mastiff King, he can even compete with the snow leopard. You must know that the snow leopard is a beast with the title of "king of the snow mountain".

Many people may wonder why only a few dog breeds such as the Tibetan Mastiff are suitable for high-altitude environments and can live in oxygen-poor areas such as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau? In fact, not only ordinary people are curious, but also in academic circles.

After a lot of research by scientists, a new gene-based study seems to fully explain this phenomenon. The study shows that the ancestors of Tibetan Mastiffs, like most low-altitude dog breeds, did not have the ability to survive on plateaus.Only later they acquired this ability on the body of the ancient Zanglang.

Mating with wolves, Tibetan mastiff harvests key genes

Tibetan mastiffs can live in high altitude areas that most dogs cannot reach. Even as long as there is enough food, they can survive for a long time on the cold and oxygen-rich mountains above 4000 meters above sea level. This shows their adaptation to the plateau environmentHow strong is sex.

However, this ability is not acquired by the ancestors of Tibetan Mastiffs, but acquired. A research paper in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution shows that the ancestors of Tibetan Mastiffs are just like most domestic dog breeds.All low-altitude creatures.

About 24,000 years ago, they entered the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with early humans and acquired this ability by crossing with local gray wolves.

To be precise, the ancestors of Tibetan mastiffs crossed with ancient Tibetan wolves, so that a gene called EPAS1 in Zanglang was inherited to the offspring. Scientists have discovered through research that it can live in other animals on the plateau., All have the gene, and most of the studies on the same genetic region of 29 canines, including high/low altitude gray wolves, domestic dogs, golden-back jackals, etc., have not found this gene.

After further research, it is found that this gene can regulate the production of hemoglobin and help them survive in an environment where oxygen is thin. Of course, during the long process of species evolution, other "plateaus" have gradually developed on the Tibetan Mastiff.The characteristics of "species", such as strong hair and more subcutaneous fat, which help them resist the severe cold.

In order to find out when the ancestors of the Tibetan Mastiff married the gray wolf? Scientists have constructed a phylogenetic tree for the region where the EPAS1 gene of each canine is located. The results show that dogs and wolves have separated very early.Each formed two different branches. Because different populations lived in different habitats, and the long-term geographical isolation made them all divided into different subspecies. However, the ancestors of the Tibetan Mastiff entered the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with humans and rejoined the wolf.Crossing, so that the offspring obtain the corresponding genetic material.

The relationship between the Tibetan Mastiff and other dog breeds in China is closer than its relationship with Zanglang, which also proves the correctness of the phylogenetic tree.

However, since the research was published, some people have also questioned the time when the Tibetan Mastiff acquired this gene. The article shows that the Tibetan Mastiff's ancestors may have crossed with wolves 24,000 years ago, which coincides with the arrival of modern Tibetans..

But another research data shows that the time node of dog domestication is about 16,000 years. The time difference between the two is huge. Obviously there are differences. However, people have not yet reached the stage of fully understanding the history of dog domestication.Who is correct is left to the scientific community in the future.

Wang Zhen, a geneticist at the Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences in China, also said that the Tibetan Mastiff is one of the oldest dog breeds in China, indicating that it is too early to conclude.

Douxuebao surrounds brown bears, and the stray Tibetan Mastiff sits on the plateau

Friends who have played on the Qinghai-Tibet line may have seen stray Tibetan mastiffs more or less. They will beg pedestrians on the side of the road and sometimes attack people. If this phenomenon were placed in the 1990s, it would be absolutely trueIt won't happen, because at that time, the Tibetan Mastiff was "worth a thousand dollars."

In the 1980s, Tibetan Mastiff became famous abroad and became the target of people's pursuit. In the 1990s, this kind of "crazy" spread back to China. Many people smelled business opportunities and began to publicize and raise Tibetan Mastiff. For a time, this kind of animal became popular.No two, it has become the "fragrant pastry" that everyone is chasing.

However, the Tibetan Mastiff is a fierce dog, and it is destined to be unsuitable for most ordinary people. After the addition, people gradually return to rationality. The economic bubble of Tibetan Mastiff burst and people's desire to buy has declined sharply. A large number of Tibetan Mastiffs cultivated by mastiff farms have no market, Can only accumulate in the mastiff farm, the expensive daily feed fee has become the most troublesome thing for the mastiff farm owner.

Later, people simply left some good-looking mastiffs behind, while other Tibetan mastiffs in larger numbers were abandoned to the wild and became homeless stray dogs.

At the beginning, they only moved around the village, relying on picking up garbage and preying on some livestock. Later, as the wildness gradually recovered, a large number of stray Tibetan mastiffs gathered together to form a new force of beasts.Under the leadership of the king, he dominates on the plateau.

Of course, the proliferation of stray Tibetan mastiffs can not only be attributed to the profit-seeking of merchants and subsequent abandonment, but also related to changes in some of the herdsmen’s habits.

In the past, the herders mainly lived a nomadic life. The Tibetan mastiff was not available to them, so in the traditional concept of the herders, the Tibetan mastiff would not be sold.

But with the continuous popularization of modern life, under the impact of "Tibetan Mastiff Fever", some herders' concepts have begun to change. It is a well-known truth that raising dogs to get rich has become a well-known truth, so the herdsmen also began to over-raise Tibetan mastiffs.

With the advancement of urbanization, the lifestyles of herdsmen are also changing. Some people have begun to end their nomadic life and choose to settle in cities. Most cities prohibit the raising of sturdy dogs, which means that the herdsmen’s Tibetan mastiffWhereabouts has become a big problem. According to surveys, in addition to the handling methods such as taking away and giving away, nearly 25% of these Tibetan mastiffs will be directly abandoned into the wild. These Tibetan mastiffs have also become stray Tibetan mastiffs in the future.The main force of group formation.

Dogs are highly gregarious animals, and the tightness of their formed groups even surpasses that of wolves. In addition, the Tibetan mastiff is huge in size and fierce personality. After the wildness recovers, what animals can be their opponents on the plateau?

In 2016, Tibetan mastiffs were photographed chasing shale sheep, fighting snow leopards, and besieging brown bears. Perhaps a Tibetan mastiff cannot pose much threat to large beasts such as Tibetan brown bears and snow leopards, but swarms of stray Tibetan mastiffs are bound to be ableBeat all the beasts on the plateau.

Tibetan mastiff can rule the roost on the plateau, thanks to their ancestors acquiring the special gene EPAS1 from the ancient wolves, which is also a prerequisite for them to thrive on the plateau.

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