If dogs come from wolves, where do cats, rats and birds come from?

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You have to stop thinking of evolution linearly. Things don't evolve "from" other things. In the case of dogs, they truely are descended from the Gray Wolf, and are actually just considered a subspecies. However, the other animals you named do not have such an evolutionary history. Domestic cat breeds share a common ancestor with other types of cats...they are all descended from the same, extinct, ancient cat-like creature (which we probably haven't discovered or named). In fact, all animals can be linked to each other through a common ancestor, but the older the ancestor, the less closely related the species are. Humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor that lived approximately 5 to 6 million years ago, which is relatively short when you're speaking in evolutionary terms. This is what makes us so closely related to chimps. However, chimps share a common ancestor with Bonobos (pygmy chimps) that lived only 1 to 2 million years ago, making chimps more closely related to Bonobos ... more
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