Remember the story about the Siberian breeder who bred tame Silver Foxes? Over just a few generations Dmitri Belyaev selected only the most tame foxes to breed, and ended up with a dog-like fox – as tame as you please, thank you. The foxes also had a number of other characteristics that came along with the tameness – similar to the changes between dogs and wolves – droopy ears, and patchy color, etc.
Well, this same fellow also did a similar experiment with rats! He developed two colonies; one about as friendly as you can imagine, and the other colony a clan of uber-rodents that are more vicious than those in Willard. The New York Times reported that Frank Albert of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionalry Anthropology has convinced Dr. Belyaev to loan him a few rats from each of his strains to look for the genetic differences between the two closely bred colonies. (more…)