Belyaev with his selectively bred foxes

Belyaev with his selectively bred foxes

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dmitri Konstantinovich Belyaev (1917-1985), Soviet zoologist, with his selectively bred foxes. Belyaev, a member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, is famous for the breeding experiments he carried out in the 1950s with silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes). The selective breeding that produced tame foxes also destabilised the gene pool, leading to changes in fur colour. This finding was used to explain the same process in dogs. Belyaev was director of the Russian Institute of Cytology and Genetics from 1959 to 1985. Photographed in Novosibirsk, Russia, in 1984.

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