Why do some breeds of dogs have floppy ears? Charles Darwin asked this question in his 1868 book The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication. And it’s not just the ears of dogs. The ears, snout lengths, fur patterns, and other phenotypic traits of pigs, goats, rabbits, cows, and other domesticated animals have changed from those of their wild counterparts. In this animated Skunk Bear episode, Adam Cole introduces the neural crest cells that might be responsible for these differences.
Related reading: Domestication syndrome.