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Despite their close genetic relationship and the ability to inter-breed, there are a number of diagnostic features to distinguish the gray wolves from domestic dogs. Domesticated dogs are clearly distinguishable from wolves by starch gel electrophoresis of red blood cell acid phosphatase. [41] The tympanic bullae are large, convex and almost spherical in gray wolves, while the bullae of dogs are smaller, compressed and slightly crumpled. [42] Compared with equally sized wolves, dogs tend to have 20% smaller skulls and 30% smaller brains. [43]:35 The teeth of gray wolves are also proportionately larger than those of dogs. [44] Dogs have a more domed forehead and a distinctive "stop" between forehead and nose. [45] The temporalis muscle that closes the jaws is more robust in wolves. :p158 Wolves do not have dewclaws on their back legs, unless there has been admixture with dogs that had them. [46] Most dogs lack a functioning pre-caudal gland and enter estrus twice yearly, unlike gray wolves which only do so once a year. [47] So-called primitive dogs such as dingoes and Basenjis retain the yearly estrus cycle. [48]

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