Stray dogs display higher intelligence to navigate Moscow

Summary: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

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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