Dyana Goldman
August 18, 2015 7:17 pm

While there’s always been an unspoken rivalry between cat lovers and dog lovers, we were surprised to find out thats dogs maaaay have a little bit of a reason to hold a grudge against their feline foes. According to a research study conducted at the University of Gothenburg, the fierce competition between the cat and dog families some 40 million years ago led to the extinction of 40 species of dog. Can you image how many more adorable puppy Instagram accounts we could have had? SO. MANY. MORE.

The study  found that way back in the day, there were a TON of different kinds of dogs (like, many many more than we have today) that inhabited North America. These dogs were less Uggie from The Artist (RIP) and more Beethoven — some weighing more than 66 pounds! But here’s what happened: By analyzing over 2,000 fossils, scientists discovered that the eventual migration of felines from Asia over to North America had a deadly impact for these doggies. Resources (aka, food) were limited, and cats and dogs were in major competition to survive. And cats, well, just did a better job at hunting and eating and surviving.

And the survival skills these ancient cats possessed had a negative impact on the survival of ancient dogs —pretty much only the mightiest, largest, cream-of-the-genetic-crop ones survived.  According to EurekAlert!, dogs “reached a maximum diversity around 22 million of years ago, when more than 30 species inhabited the continent. Today, only 9 species of the dog family live in North America.” Whoa.

So, while dogs are great and we love them very much —cats just plain rule. Science even says so.

(Image via iStock)

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