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New research suggests that climate change helped dogs develop from creatures resembling cats to way they are today. Researchers from Brown University in USA believe that 40 million years ago, dogs were smaller and hunted like cats. They hid, stalked and ambushed their prey. As climate change transformed Earth's landscape, physique and food-gathering habits of dogs changed. Thick forests that once covered North American continent started to become less dense as planet became cooler. emergence of grassland meant dogs had fewer places to hide to ambush their victims. To adapt, they evolved their hunting styles and slowly grew longer legs.

scientists analysed how dogs have evolved by looking at elbows and teeth of 32 different species that lived between two million to 40 million years ago. researchers said that the dogs' elbows, in particular, were good indicators of evolutionary change. Dogs from 40 million years ago had elbows that were more similar to those of cats. Their function was to allow front paws to swivel so they could grab and hold onto prey. Those elbows changed in dogs to allow them to become endurance runners and thus be able to pursue their prey over long distances. Teeth in dogs also altered to be more efficient. They became more hard-wearing to be able to hold on to prey.

 
 

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