Well, for dog breeds specifically, I want to look at a few individual breeds, with a list of a few modern breeds that form the majority of their ancestral stock. (Of course, this is not a perfect list, as I doubt people would be highly concerned about pedigree in the New Medieval period). One I definitely plan on doing is the Michigan retriever, a lab/goldie/newfoundland/other water dog breed used by fishermen in the Great Lakes. Less defined ideas I have are large bear/wolf hunters, herding and hunting dogs on the Great Plains, and guard/maybe blood sport breed in California. The blood sport part I may not include/focus on for the simple reason that I don't want to write blatant animal cruelty T_TInteresting. Could you tell me more?
You forgot to threadsmark it, also octopus are evolving in intelligence is a scary thoughtHere There Be Monsters: Giant Pacific Octopus
Long have sailors feared the abominations of the deep - Leviathans, Sea Serpents, Krakens, whatever they called it they knew something slimy was out there and they didn't like it. In the post-modern world of Medieval America, sailors have new fears to match the times - UFOs, Ghost Ships of the ancient Navy, the webbed claws of the Deep Ones. On the Pacific Coast, a special fear and reverence is given to the Giant Pacific Octopus.
Don't let the name get away from you: the majority of specimens only weigh in at about 35 pounds. Large for a cephalopod, no doubt, but no great shakes for a grown man. In fact, for a creature considered so uncanny, the sailors of the pacific chow down on it with particular gusto, being considered a delicacy in the Pacific Northwest. So what is it about these creatures that inspire such fear? Why is it that the mighty pirates and sailors of Baranoff have chosen this creature as their totemic symbol, rather than the whale, the shark, or any other aquatic beast?
Stories abound across the Pacific of a queer sort of intelligence that proliferates among the octopuses, an intelligence that though not altogether human is nonetheless deeply disconcerting for any man with firm notions about what separates himself from the lowlier lifeforms. The most common stories tell of octopuses spotted in the dead of night heaving themselves up onto land to steal fish as it cures. More disconcerting are the occasional tales of octopuses that toy with fisherman, playing strange games with them that more often than not end with them being tricked into allowing themselves to be pulled into the water. Most disturbing of all are the stories of shipwreck survivors who report their experience underwater, of seeing the creatures swarm. Some even claim that it feels as if they're trying to tell them something...
Soothsayers and spinners of talol tales insist that the creatures have grown smarter with time, since the Regression. Why is not entirely sure. One treatise by the heretic Californian Orion Menes who was R2-45ed some years after its publication argues that the species grew more intelligence due to the liberation of aquarium and university specimens, socialized and trained by humans, into the wild, where they have sparked off an intellectual revolution among the cephlapods. He also suggests that the creatures are growing in size, that their are colossal members of the species lurking in deeper waters, perhaps even directing the actions of its fellows...
Though this account was no doubt fantasy among Menes's many others, it has gained purchase in the Pacific consciousness, and the supernatural reverance for the octopus only grows with time.
You think that's scary? I think it was suggested in the alternative evolution thread that some sort that a giant octopus with a carbon mesh in its skin would have enough structural support to get its gigantic tentacles out of the water and busy crushing shipsYou forgot to threadsmark it, also octopus are evolving in intelligence is a scary thought