Question of the Day

Oct 27, 2017

Yesterday, we asked: In honor of October being Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month: All modern dogs (as well as wolves, jackals, and coyotes) are generally believed to be descended from what prehistoric animal?

Answer:’s complicated. One theory: Cynodictis, better known as‭ “bear dogs‭,” gave rise to two branches: “The Eurasian branch, called Tomarctus, is the progenitor wolves, dogs, and foxes originated from.” So that’s what we were going for, but it turns out the origins of the dog aren’t entirely clear and there have been plenty of contradictory results from various studies.

Congrats to Oh that Alice, who tweeted, “bothering my scientific illustrator friend to no end because the answer is ‘we don't know,’” which is really the most accurate response. She gets extra credit for adding, “Final answer: unknown canid that lived approx. 7m yrs ago. All modern dogs are descendants of an *ancient* grey wolf, but jackals are not.”

Your question of the day for today is…It’s decorative gourd season. What country’s currency is named after the gourd?

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack.

About the author

Nashville-based writer, marketing communications consultant, and all-around word nerd. Usually covered in dog and/or cat hair.

Signup for the Muck Rack Daily email

A digest of journalism, written by journalists, delivered to your inbox daily.