The first thing most of you believe is true is that chromosomes determine the species, the genes and so much more. Some of you will also claim that the more chromosomes a creature has, it is more complex and more advanced. As such, humans have the highest number of chromosomes. Well, this is not true. Dogs have more chromosomes than humans. Why do dogs have 39 chromosomes? Let’s find out.
We must start from the beginning. Why do dogs have 39 chromosomes is the main question. But, first, you need to know what chromosomes are. These are present in all plants and animals. Humans have them and dogs have them obviously. These are in the nucleus of the cells and they look like threads. A chromosome contains proteins and has one molecule that contains DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. This DNA comes from parents. Dogs get half of their DNA from their mothers and another half from their fathers. Same as humans.
Dogs Have 39 Pairs Of Chromosomes
We must add that every single species in the world will have a specific number of chromosomes. These are always arranged in pairs. As such, humans have 23 pairs or 46 chromosomes. Dogs on the other hand have 39 pairs which translate to 78 chromosomes. Cats have 19 [pairs or 38 chromosomes in total. An interesting fact is that all 400+ species of dogs have the same number of chromosomes. They also have the same number as wild animals such as coyotes, wolves, and jackals.
Male dogs will have X and Y chromosomes. Female dogs will have XX chromosome pairs. They will determine the sex of the animal. Keep in mind that our DNA is 84% like dogs’ DNA.
DNA will determine how a dog will look like, its size, mental capabilities, physical characteristics, and more. The number of chromosomes is usually the same and will remain the same in a single species. But, if a rare mutation occurs, the number can change. This is not always a good thing.
Dogs Can Have Down Syndrome
As you may know, dogs can have Down Syndrome. Humans can have it as well. This issue occurs when the cells of the egg or the sperm divide abnormally. This also causes another chromosome to be present and there is no cure for that. This is one of many similarities dogs and humans have. It can be harder to diagnose Down Syndrome in dogs but there have been a lot of cases.
The Number Of Chromosomes Is Actually Irrelevant
If you are one of many people who believe that the number of chromosomes is mandatory to determine how advanced a specifier will be, you are wrong. Chromosomes carry DNA. But the DNA is responsible for shaping the creature. As such, it is irrelevant how many chromosomes a creature has as long as the DNA is complex and advanced.
For instance, the Plains viscacha rat has the most chromosomes of all living creatures. They have 100 chromosomes. On the other hand, Indian muntjac deer have only 4. As you can imagine, a deer is a more ‘’advanced’’ animal than a rat. In general, it is nice to know how many chromosomes dogs have but this doesn’t determine their appearance, mental capabilities, or anything else. DNA does.
Things DNA Can Tell Us About Our Friends
You can test the DNA of your dog and you can find a lot of things about him. There are all kinds of tests out there. Some of the examples are Embark and DNA My Dog Breed which are both home DNA tests. You can generally discover a few things.
These DNA tests are most commonly used to determine the health of a dog. Some dogs can transfer certain diseases and health issues through genes. The goal is to find out about those diseases before puppies are born.
Tests of this kind can determine why your dog looks like he does. You can see the size, color coat, and a lot more from a simple DNA test.
This is an interesting one. A test can help you discover the relatives of your dog. In simple terms, you can see who his grandparents were. It is a nice thing to be able to tell how and why your dog came into existence.
The Final Word
We hope now you know all about dogs’ chromosomes. Why do dogs have 39 chromosomes? The simplest answer is due to Mother Nature. They are more similar to us than we believe and all dogs have the same number of chromosomes. It is a nice thing to know that dogs have the same number of chromosomes as wolves. This should help you deduce that dogs came from wolves and they share more similarities than you may believe.
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