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《经济学人》:狗-人们最好的朋友

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Human beings and dogs
人类和狗

Man’s best friend
人们最好的朋友

Scientific research throws new light on a very old partnership
科学研究对这一古老的伙伴关系作出新的阐述

Aug 6th 2011 | from the print edition

Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behaviour Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet. By John Bradshaw. Basic Books; 324 pages; $25.99. Published in Britain as “In Defence of Dogs: Why Dogs Need Our Understanding”. Allen Lane; £20. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

《狗的感官:对狗的习性的最新科学研究可使你与之更好地相处》 。作者:John Bradshaw ,Basic Books出版,324页,定价:$25.99。在英国发行名为“为狗辩护:为什么狗需要我们理解”,Allen Lane出版,可至Amazon.com或 Amazon.co.uk购买。

THE relationship between people and dogs is unique. Among domesticated animals, only dogs are capable of performing such a wide variety of roles for humans: herding sheep, sniffing out drugs or explosives and being our beloved companions. It is hard to be precise about when the friendship began, but a reasonable guess is that it has been going strong for more than 20,000 years. In the Chauvet cave in the Ardèche region of France, which contains the earliest known cave paintings, there is a 50-metre trail of footprints made by a boy of about ten alongside those of a large canid that appears to be part-wolf, part-dog. The footprints, which have been dated by soot deposited from the torch the child was carrying, are estimated to be about 26,000 years old.

人们和狗的关系算得上独一无二。在驯养动物中,只有狗能在人们生活中扮演各种各样的角色:牧羊,嗅探毒物或炸药,更是我们亲爱的伙伴。人们无法精确得知这种友谊从何时算起,但通过合理猜测这深刻的友谊早在2万年前就开始了。位于法国阿尔代什省的肖维岩洞,内有现存的最早的岩画,其中有一段10岁男孩留下的长达50米的足印,在它的旁边是大型犬类半狼半狗的动物足印。根据小男孩手上的火炬留下的烟灰估计,这些脚印起源于2万6千年前。

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