An Air-Leaking Cork

According to Benjamin Twist’s amusing article “Pugs: Proof that Evolution Doesn’t Work,” a pug’s nose is “a small black cork that accidentally leaks air.” It’s an apt description, but that short snozzle is what also makes pugs so adorable.

K recently finished The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins, and the book brings up an interesting point about pugs. Says Dawkins, “an adult pug is a puppy whose face didn’t properly grow up.” Puppies need a short snout in order to nurse, a long one would get in the way and make sucking difficult. Except for pugs and a few other breeds (bulldogs, boxers, and Pekineses, for example), most dogs develop a proper snout. A pug’s stays infantile and puppy-like. Perhaps this is why I and other pugophiles find pugs so irresistible. They remind us of puppies.



Filed under Dog breeds, pugs

6 responses to “An Air-Leaking Cork

  1. Joan

    Is that why human babies are snub-nosed too?

  2. Don’t know for sure, but it seems likely.

  3. K

    All mammals work the same re: development. A good example from the book is a comparison of the skeleton of a human and that of a bat; all the same bones are there. It’s just that on bats the fingers grow extra long and have skin in between them that forms a wing. All mammals have five digits at the end of each arm/leg, but some have stunted growth to the point where they’re almost invisible. All dogs are born with short snouts to facilitate sucking but most breeds’ snouts continue to grow after birth. Humans and chimps have the same face at birth, but DNA switches tell a chimp’s snout to keep growing afterwards.That’s why it can be said that humans and chimps share 99-something percent of our DNA; the DNA builds the same basic structure but switches turn on and off to control development of various things.

  4. K

    The Benjamin Twist article shouldn’t be a serious criticism of “natural selection”, as pugs were bred by man and not by nature. I seriously doubt that pugs, as a breed, would last in the wild for more than a generation — if even that long. Nor would a lot of other human-created breeds that are incapable of hunting. And bulldogs requiring C-section births wouldn’t even get to the starting line.

  5. Pingback: Pugs and Evolution | Pinin' for the fjords

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