Wolves faced with a diminishing number of potential mates are lowering their standards and mating with other, similar species, reported The Economist.
The interbreeding began up to 200 years ago, as European settlers pushed into southern Ontario and cleared the animal’s habitat for farming and killed a large number of the wolves that lived there.
That also allowed coyotes to spread from the prairies, and the white farmers brought dogs into the region.
Over time, wolves began mating with their new, genetically similar neighbors.
The resulting offspring — which has been called the eastern coyote or, to some, the “coywolf” — now number in the millions, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.
|A new species is evolving right before our eyes||1000||Archaic||10-Mar-18 18:21|