For reasons both practical and whimsical, man's best friend has been artificially evolved into the most diverse animal on the planet—a staggering achievement, given that most of the 350 to 400 dog breeds in existence have been around for only a couple hundred years.
The breeders gave no thought, of course, to the fact that while coaxing such weird new dogs into existence, they were also tinkering with the genes that determine canine anatomy in the first place.
Scientists since have assumed that underneath the morphological diversity of dogs lay an equivalent amount of genetic diversity. A recent explosion in canine genomic research, however, has led to a surprising, and opposite, conclusion: The vast mosaic of dog shapes, colors, and sizes is decided largely by changes in a mere handful of gene regions.
Excerpts from 'Mix, Match, Morph'
Musical dogs and their album covers - various