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We met the world’s first domesticated foxes

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This week, we meet the very cute and very bizarre result of an almost 60-year-long experiment: they’re foxes that have been specially bred for their dog-like friendliness toward people. We do a little behavior research of our own, and discover what scientists continue to learn from the world’s most famous experiment in domestication. The fox experiment continues under the supervision of Lyudmila Trut at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics. Her book “How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog)”, co-authored by Lee Alan Dugatkin, details the history and science behind the experiment. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/2FqJZMl Like Verge Science on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2hoSukO Follow on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2Kr29B9 Follow on Instagram: https://goo.gl/7ZeLvX Read More: http://www.theverge.com Community guidelines: http://bit.ly/2D0hlAv Subscribe to Verge on YouTube for explainers, product reviews, technology news, and more: http://goo.gl/G5RXGs gene editing
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Text Comments (13819)
Verge Science (1 month ago)
Should we be domesticating wild animals?
Gregg Hill (27 days ago)
What are dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, mice....
doggo vloggo games (1 month ago)
+Deepankar Joshi dogs were wild animals at one point to
Hanzo Main (1 month ago)
hell yeah we should, if we domesticate them they are not wild anymore. if you are a slave but you are happy with your life, then life isnt a prisonship anymore
Matty B (1 month ago)
Blueberry If the advances do proceed successfully, I imagine the FOX as a perfect half way point between a dog and a cat. Nimble climbs on all sorts of furniture. Tough and territorial. Many traits from both cat & dog. Intriguing
mthotdog (40 minutes ago)
I wonder if you raised a baby fox with a bunch of dogs if it will act like a dog in the same way that if you see those cats that are raised by dogs, the cats act like dogs...
Libby Hopkins (1 hour ago)
they're like cats
Carlonk (1 hour ago)
you can't domesticate foxes but okay
General (3 hours ago)
if the fox know how to do a barrel a roll, you know, this fox is ready.
Donna Hilton (4 hours ago)
💓 foxes.
CM94 Returns (4 hours ago)
i always want to have a fox as a pet if only my state says its ok
Donna Hilton (4 hours ago)
they're kind of 🐈 cat/dogs 🐕.
big anxious meme (5 hours ago)
Let's domesticate Republicans to be friendly towards humans.
big anxious meme (5 hours ago)
The blue Fox is my favorite!
Pdot The Deterimed Pines (6 hours ago)
Now I want a forest pupper
Marissa Lopes (6 hours ago)
Wolves did not turn into dogs. Dogs and wolves share a common ancestor. They do not share direct lineage. 🐶🐺
Ne Á:kwe’ks (7 hours ago)
I don't think we shoved dogs in labs and messed with their DNA to force them to be domesticated. Domestication is a releationship between human and animal and it cannot be forced its something that has to be built up with trust and understanding, dogs learned that interacting with humans was beneficial for them and you can not do that in a lab. You have to show foxes that if they interact with humans they will survive, they will be safe and protected, they will be fed and have fun and eventually they will learn that humans are positive influences on their lifes and will want to be around us the same way dogs want to be around people. Thats assuming that foxes would ever want to socialise since they are generally very independent and scavengers that only care about themselves where as wolves and dogs are social animals by nature. Might be easier to domesticate Hyenas first, plus they can laugh so they are far more entertaining than a fox.
Tennis addict 21 (9 hours ago)
Still more domesticated than liberals
big anxious meme (5 hours ago)
Lmao at least we understand human rights
Vorschlaghammer (9 hours ago)
Rich people get bored easily and tend to want something expensive to be different and unique. Hopefully all wild get banned as being kept as pets, humans are caged in this world and apparently we want to spread it to every living being.
WUKEIMA YUXINBUTUO (10 hours ago)
What is the smartest dog breed?
Kate of Sagan (10 hours ago)
I believe the question should be why, and not whether we should. Humans are not to be trusted toward the wild. It would put them in danger. I'd much rather see all this energy going into protecting them and helping them from a safe distance. We ought to show some respect toward nature at some point.
Pinkus Dean (10 hours ago)
these domestic ones will have a longer life span and an overall happier healthy life so why not domesticate them? I see no problem with it but I can see why some people would
ElementJonny (11 hours ago)
Sooooooooo........ Remember that pc build :P
TheExtremeEvoker (12 hours ago)
Now time to domesticate an Eidolon from warframe
steve castleberry (14 hours ago)
" ... I mean that is the question." ... at 4:50 If you wanna know I`ll tell you for half a million.
Shaun Gabril (14 hours ago)
The WORLD'S FIRST ??? ha ha ha hahhhhhh
Coffee Fox (15 hours ago)
Yeah no you should not be domesticating wild animals, they are wild for a reason. If we`re honest, it`s somewhat cruel to change the personality of a fox or any wild animal changing it from what it truly is. That`d be like you guys, animal scientists suddenly being forced to change from your natural state of mind to something like an animal abuser. Make sense? Don`t change who they are, they`re wild animals, keep them that way.
Ronald Evans (15 hours ago)
No you didn’t
Yoonha 99 (16 hours ago)
We really shouldn’t
Miranda N (16 hours ago)
4:50 Is it not obvious that dogs with more human-sociability more followed and sticked around migrating humans and thus (mutually) increased their likelihood of survival and reproduction (mutually, because the dogs would help the humans with hunting)?
okeh (16 hours ago)
Sit GOOD FOX
Taysshan Gunalan (16 hours ago)
Yet they are used for fur
Blue Rabbit (18 hours ago)
It made me so sad to see a fox on a leash :'( We shouldn't be doing this.
Jack Kurtis Productions (1 day ago)
It's attracted to fellow gingers.
Walking Warzone (1 day ago)
Gotta start domesticating the exotics sometime
Zed Rameses (1 day ago)
Unfortunately I never got domisticated.
Daniel Lavender (1 day ago)
how can you have an experiment like that when the foxs are locked in cages only they dont get out of cages they only have a person open the door on occasion and a few petts
Dante Ferrise (1 day ago)
Why don’t they just breed foxes with dogs? And work backwards until they have a small sliver of fox left but keep the appearance? THOUGH I THINK THAT IS WRONG BUT JUST FROM A SCIENCE STANDPOINT IT SEEMS LIKE MAYBE THEY COULD DO THAT?
Bruno Vásquez (1 day ago)
Foxes live mostly alone or in very small groups in the wild, so they are naturally far less social than dogs. Their behavior when domesticated should strike a middle ground between a dog and a cat.
PotatoHippo (1 day ago)
This is pretty incredible. There should be a seperate experiment where they take two of lab domesticated foxes and breed, then raise the kits in a home where they are cared for, petted, and loved by humans like we do with kittens, puppies, and pretty much everything else. I bet that would be insane.
Sensi Savage (1 day ago)
Define wild animal. You want to domesticate me but you're worried about a fox?
Sensi Savage (1 day ago)
You really think you're the first to domesticate a fox? Really? Gtfoh
sten260 (1 day ago)
why u need to domesticate a fox? whats the use? theres plenty of dogs and cats out there. Seems like a waste of time
MiG 1 (1 day ago)
the cats of dogs
Anahita The Sergal (1 day ago)
this is probably the cutest video filmed on 9/11
organic Bunny June (1 day ago)
LOCK YOU IN A CAGE ..SEE HOW FRIENDLY YOU ARE! PATHETIC LOSERS
eDdIe EdDiE (1 day ago)
Can we just paint a dog orange and white or sumin for it to be a fox??
RapiDSpacE13 (1 day ago)
So foxes got turned into cats. We will become like the ancient Egyptians, we shall worship them.
Anne Isopod (1 day ago)
I can't help but notice that victor winces when you bring a hand to him.
Sivakumar Balaka (1 day ago)
Good fox
Sabrina (1 day ago)
A domesticated fox is basically a shiba inu lol
i420x Gaming (1 day ago)
Simple evolution, the genes deemed that's living along side humans would be more beneficial than in packs or alone, or may be it was the runts of the packs found each other and didn't care they wasn't there pack and showed love non the less through breeding amongst other runts the reliability on others for help become dominant along with compassion and love to other species
Mariah (1 day ago)
I really want a serval! it's a wild cat used to breed savannah cats. i want lot of land where I could let one roam free and not have to worry about neighbors complaining 😂
Purekindness My Journey (1 day ago)
I wonder if there's a bully gene that attack children with kind genes
TriBe Crucial (1 day ago)
So in 60 years I can have a pet lion?
MajikkijaM (1 day ago)
that was incredible, thank you sir
Siris Rangabhasm (1 day ago)
Before experimenting on them did you ask for the Fox's opinion ?? What did the Fox say?
Tearex (1 day ago)
*LAMP* is just domesticated sun.
bribeezilli (1 day ago)
They’re like a mixture between a cat and a dog lol
Juan Fernandez (1 day ago)
😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
joshua darden (1 day ago)
I wouldn't trust it around infants and toddlers
Trevor Seppola (1 day ago)
humans still can't leave animals alone, not leave well enough alone! i can't stand it!
Diego Delgado (1 day ago)
I like that tho just say whats up no need to be nosey dogs try to get all up in your business
A Ho From Gwydion (1 day ago)
domestication syndrome is wild... hmmmmmmmm
Maria Kramer (2 days ago)
If I had way to much time and money, I would domesticate the squirrel.
David Micheletti (2 days ago)
We used to sail out to isle royal island on Lake Superior. Every time we stopped on the island the fox would greet us on the shore and try to steal any food they could from us. I even tripped over one as I walked thought the woods. They see humans for less than six months a year and show no fear of humans. I never feed them and yet they are very comfortable around us.
Captain MacMillan (2 days ago)
Who watching this after the PSAT
Wayne Cameron (2 days ago)
NO animal that can't be housebroken can be considered "domesticated". A few years ago I thought I wanted a servil cat until I found out they also have the trait of being untrustworthy concerning "going" in the house (some do all the time, while other do it only frequently, but none are 100% every time box-users). Remember that guy in NYC a few years back who had a Bengal tiger as a "pet" in his upper-floor apartment? Wonder how it smelled in there, as well as the apartment directly under his.
bloozism (2 days ago)
So why do we let pitbulls breed?
MrMeme (2 days ago)
Once again Russia beat us
christopher scofield (2 days ago)
Playstation genes 8:16
Goran S (2 days ago)
still-u cant domesticate wild fox...at least most of them u cant
Clive Thomas (2 days ago)
This is bs.....I had a pet fox 50 years ago
Sebastian Li (2 days ago)
Hearing "good fox" is just SO weird Bit of an oxymoron don't you think?
Pans Meiser (2 days ago)
I am a fox, and I disagreeeeeeh
Kitalia the kitsune (1 day ago)
I'm a nine tailed fox and this is rather amusing.
Blackest Yang (2 days ago)
Can't let you do that, Star Fox!
Horizonts (2 days ago)
sooo playing god and putting innocent hybrid foxes in small wired enclosures good? nah.. this is wrong. dogs are dogs.. canines, foxes are foxes. what ppl won't do for a quick buck damn
Jaero Dick (2 days ago)
Only in Russia
M.D. Beltran (2 days ago)
How about a dog and fox hybrid: Dox.
kingbeauregard (2 days ago)
So $9000 later and you've got a dog that behaves like a cat. A cat that doesn't use the litter box no less.
Senua Lagertha (2 days ago)
fox was in MGSV with Big Boss snake yaaay
Bob Bobbertson (2 days ago)
KEK? HE IS REAL!!!!!!
mama (2 days ago)
I hare a red fox, she was a sweet heart, she was a baby when we kept her cause her mom got hit by a car.. we had to keep a eye on her cause she got into everything.. but she was so lovable, n playful..one thing don't try to take there food.. l love them n love to have another one..💞💞🦊🦊
Jungle Jargon (2 days ago)
They may have selected out the courage and leadership out of the foxes.
Dustin Delacruz (2 days ago)
what does the fox say about this?
Hendry Irvin Maynard (3 days ago)
the million dollar question is "what does the fox say?"
Kitalia the kitsune (1 day ago)
Whatever it wants to.
Ara Meghroyan (3 days ago)
I am Russian and I am proud that my country helped the universe
GummyPop (3 days ago)
I see fox. I click.
Mountain Bikes (3 days ago)
The fact that im SUCH a nice guy...... Narcissistic much
russmaleartist (3 days ago)
How long until they deem it necessary for research and the “evolution” of man to imprison humans and do the same involuntary genetic experiments? When mankind becomes a mere animal as is the attitude displayed by many scientists and other persons today . . . and the minds become complete reprobate and degenerate into that sort of mentality -- just a humans murder their young, label it another name for convenience -- they can do the same in the case of domesticating the criminals or ridding society of what they come to classify as unwanted . . . those with physical deformities or mental abnormalities . . . or simply you have lost your usefulness in the opinions of those who would BENEFIT from your demise. There are a lot of dangerous and insidious ideologies being indoctrinated -- just like wildlife indoctrination, into the minds of our youth and incorporated into our social and even governmental laws . . . very dangerous precedences -- dangerous indeed!
Reynaldo Acosta (3 days ago)
Show me the Carfox!!!
Skyline Fever (3 days ago)
This made me think of this park in Japan where people can play with foxes. The maker of the video said that the foxes behave like a combination of a dog and cat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92wtDKCtOiU
CCIE (3 days ago)
I know a few women that need this...
Joseph Robbins (3 days ago)
Hahahahahaha that is the story of "evolution" dogs begat dogs.....just like Darwin proved in his monumental work Origin of Species or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life ......that finches begat finches! Amazing!!!! All things produce after their own kind!! Wait.....the Word of God recorded that 4000 years ago..... *[[1Co **1:27**]] KJV* But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;"
jiminEcricket (3 days ago)
so with so many other domesticated animals (not to mention so many breeds of dogs (or cats) .............WHY do we need this
Artic (3 days ago)
What does the fox say?
nyan02 (3 days ago)
Those cages 6:52 look horrible! Why do we need to domesticate everything for our pleasure?
sizzurp.mp3 (3 days ago)
ReviewBruh's reviewing pets now?
Jay C (3 days ago)
So basically they have no clue
Rus jack (3 days ago)
Why did it take “10s of thousands” of years to domesticate the wolf yet only 60 years to domesticate the Fox? 🤔
Hare Krishna in the Movies (3 days ago)
PROOF THAT DARWINIAN EVOLUTION IS IMPOSSIBLE: “PROTEIN CANNOT FORM UNLESS THE CELL EXISTS AS AN INTEGRAL WHOLE” by Harun Yahya Darwinists can write as many deceptive books jam packed with formulae, produce as many false fossils as they like, make as many demagogic assaults on the scientific evidence for Creation as they choose, or stick posters up full of fantastical illustrations and present these as exhibitions of evolution all over the place, but none of this will ever change the fact of their fundamental defeat. Because the worst nightmare for Darwinists is the very beginning of life. Darwinists HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE A SINGLE EXPLANATION of how just one protein came into being. This is an expression of the despairing situation into which, Dawkins, Futuyma, Tim White and all other Darwinists now find themselves. None of this demagoguery can resolve this great and stupendous rout in the face of a single protein. A SINGLE PROTEIN HAS TOTALLY DEMOLISHED DARWINISM. One important feature of Darwinist demagoguery is that Darwinists always tended to reduce the question of the origin of life to the very simple, despite all the complexity of life, by portraying everything within it as very simple. That is the reason for such myths as “the cell emerged from muddy water” and “DNA spontaneously began replicating itself.” Darwinists imagined it would be easier to deceive people in this way. But they have now seen that the time for such deception has passed. Not only do people now know that a single protein is far too complex ever to come into being spontaneously, they are also aware that neither a protein, DNA, RNA or any other minute component of the cell WILL SERVE ANY PURPOSE IN THE ABSENCE OF THE CELL AS A WHOLE. This fact is of great importance in terms of the defeat of Darwinism: • DNA is essential for a single protein to form. • DNA cannot form without protein. • Protein cannot form without DNA. • Protein cannot form in the absence of protein. • Sixty separate proteins are needed for a single protein to form. • Protein cannot form in the absence of any one of these. • Protein cannot form with no ribosome. • Protein cannot form with no RNA. • Protein cannot form without ATP. • Protein cannot form without the mitochondria to manufacture ATP. • Protein cannot form without the cell nucleus. • Protein cannot form without the cytoplasm. • Protein cannot form in the absence of a single organelle in the cell. • And proteins are necessary for all the organelles in the cell to exist and function. • There can be no protein without these organelles. This is an interconnected system that has to function simultaneously. You cannot have one part without the other. Even if one component exists, it will still not function in the absence of the others. In short, THE WHOLE CELL IS NECESSARY FOR A PROTEIN TO FORM. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A SINGLE PROTEIN TO FORM IN THE ABSENCE OF THE WHOLE CELL, with its perfect complex structure we see today, but of which we understand only a very small part. Even if this protein did form spontaneously (which is, in any case, impossible), it will still serve no purpose. It will just wander around alone and die. Therefore, Dawkins’ claim of “a spontaneously replicating molecule” is utterly ludicrous and solely intended to deceive. NO MOLECULE IN THE HUMAN CELL POSSESSES THE ABILITY TO REPLICATE ITSELF SPONTANEOUSLY WITHOUT THE HELP OF ANY OTHER MOLECULE. The Cambridge University Professor of Philosophy, Stephen C. Meyer, describes this in his book, “The Signature in the Cell”: “Following the elucidation of the structure and function of DNA during the 1950s and early 1960s, a radically new conception of life began to emerge. Not only did molecular biologists discover that DNA carried information; they soon began to suspect that living organisms must contain systems for processing genetic information. Just as the digital information stored on a disc is useless without a device for reading the disc, so too is the information on DNA useless without the cell’s information-processing system. As Richard Lewontin notes, ‘No living molecule (i.e., bio-molecule) is self-producing. Only whole cells may contain all the necessary machinery for self-reproduction… Not only is DNA incapable of making copies of itself, aided or unaided, but it is incapable of making anything else… The proteins of the cell are made from other proteins, and without that protein-forming machinery nothing can be made.’” * These statements once again reveal the inconsistency of these accounts by Dawkins, who has recently converted to the religion of outer space. The Earth is the most ideal environment in all of space for the survival of the living cell. But not even these ideal conditions by themselves make it possible for the cell to be able to form spontaneously. Dawkins has looked for a new explanation in the face of this and now maintains that a molecule capable of replicating spontaneously formed in space and subsequently made its way to Earth. The first insoluble problem here is that no such living molecule can form spontaneously. The second is, as set out above, that no living molecule can replicate spontaneously, not even on Earth. Aware of these insoluble problems, Dawkins eventually had to admit that such a molecule was created by a sublime intelligence. * Stephen C. Meyer, The Signature in the Cell, Harper One, 2009, p. 132-133
Ben Ridenour (3 days ago)
my dog looks like a fox
Tae tae (3 days ago)
Yo cave men did this on the natch with wolves🤔
DJ Milk (3 days ago)
9k each what do these people do for work to just spend 45 grand on foxes