Wolves have acquired a genetic mutation for dark coat colour through mating with domestic dogs, scientists report.
Dark coats could help wolves adapt and survive in new environments, the international team argues.
Light-coloured coats are dominant in wolves living on tundra, but dark coats have become common among wolves living in forested areas of North America.
The findings come from a genetic analysis of wolf populations in Europe and North America.
“We usually think that dogs developed from wolves. The work shows an example where dogs gave something back to wolves,” co-author Greg Barsh, from Stanford University in California, told Science magazine. A trait that was created by humans may now prove to be beneficial for wolves
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