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Stray dogs display higher intelligence to navigate Moscow

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Stray dogs in Moscow are gaining greater intelligence as they evolve to navigate city living.

Stray dogs in Moscow are gaining greater intelligence as they evolve to navigate city living.

Russia has a lot of stray dogs, so much so that the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution can study a population of about 35,000 for the last 30 years.

According to Popular Science
, researchers found that strays have evolved into four groups: Guards, which get food from security personnel; scavengers, who eat from the garbage; wild dogs, which act like wolves and hunt rats and cats among other animals; and beggars, which get food from commuters.

The beggar dogs appear to be most evolved. They can recognize humans most likely to give them food and can navigate the subway. Beggar dogs can use scent to identify different subway stops. In beggar packs, the smartest dog is the alpha male.

Also see: Financial Times:Moscow’s stray dogs

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure