Skip to comments.NEW RESEARCH ON HOW DOGS AND CATS BECAME MAN'S BEST FRIENDS
Posted on 06/07/2009 2:50:13 AM PDT by Scanian
They have lived in our homes, been members of the family, slept on our laps for over 10,000 years. Yet it is only recently that science has begun to answer how it is that cats and dogs came to be our most prized companion animals - discovering, along the way, how the domestication of cats and dogs actively helped change the course of human history.
"Domestication," says scientist Carlos Driscoll, "is evolution that we can see." Driscoll is a researcher at Oxford University and the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, where much of the world's leading work on cats has been done over the past 30 years. (Cats, like dogs, have their own versions of human diseases - they suffer from feline leukemia, HIV/AIDS, SARS - and so are especially valuable for scientists.) A happy, unexpected byproduct of this research has led to recent discoveries in how and why these two animals yoked themselves to human beings, and vice versa. When did this pair bonding begin, and why? What were the benefits? How long did it take for dogs and cats to become dependent on humans - or are they, really? And what is it that these animals can tell us about not only our biological makeup and evolutionary history, but about what it is to be human?
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
No happy cat is ever truly domesticated. Tolerant yes.
I think I'll just leave this here.
Does anyone really care?
The Siamese is significantly different in size, shape, and attitude. So are most of the "oriental" breeds, but I bred and showed Measers for 15 years, so that's the one I know best.
And the British cat breeders of the 1880s-90s are the ones that 'fixed' the type (i.e. established a blood line that would breed true to type).
Anybody who has much to do with the Measers will tell you that they are different from other cats.
I also don’t get the idea that cats contributed nothing when humans had them join the tribe: they are ferocious hunters of small rodents, and any agrarian society needed that!
These people obviously have never heard of "barn cats".
Exactly. Sometimes I think that just as people often both study and teach what they need to learn themselves, that those who go into biology to study animals actually have no clue and little understanding about them.
They start with the premise animals are almost some sort of wind-up toy battery-powered by an alien ‘instinct’ and then construct barely applicable tests and experiments to determine whether animals have any thoughts and feelings at all. Then when they conclude that—eureka!—animals do have functioning brains after all, they attribute the most conniving, false and ultimately complicated motives to them possible.
It is amazing, isn’t it?
Not unlike those birds that have learned to lay their eggs in other birds’ nests!
My daughter is a Bio major, but she's worked for a vet and on a farm and has been around cats, dogs, and horses since she was born. She brings a practical mindset to the job.
The critters seem to really like her, too.
Yes, I grew up on a farm, and as you know I wasn’t talking about her type at all. Good for her!
So the eggheads will continue to pontificate, while the field biologists know better but have no platform for their knowledge.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
You are pretty close. Cats domesticated humans by teaching them to make beer from grains, which caused them to settle in villages rather than wander nomadically since it takes time to make beer.
I gave up on lint rollers about seven thousand years ago. Now I'm just a vaguely human shaped pile of cat fur in my chair. They say the first 10,000 years are the hardest. :-)
“I also dont get the idea that cats contributed nothing when humans had them join the tribe: they are ferocious hunters of small rodents, and any agrarian society needed that!”
If they didn’t kill cats as familiars to witches they would’ve prevented the plague.
Yes. People think that I have oddly patterned clothing, but most of my clothes are solid colors.
Egad! The hubris of navel gazing! Here are your answers: Kittens are cute. Dogs are loyal. Both are loving, and they're capable of expressing that love. End of research. Get a life.
P.S. We didn't evolve.
I also believe that there are breeders who are introducing some small wildcats into the gene pool. I have a cat who is supposedly part desert lynx. He’s pretty stupid and a bit jumpy. I also have enjoyed Blue Russians (not eating them silly but love the breed) which is much different IMHO than the typical domestic shorthair. Also love the Maine Coon Cat which I think must have some wild cat in it.
Mmmmmmmm Blue Russian Stroganoff...
As you can tell by my screen name, my favorite is also the Siamese.
Siamese are vastly different than the rescues I have.
Rescues are extremely sweet, but as far as I am concerned, the Siamese are by far, much smarter.
***Not unlike those birds that have learned to lay their eggs in other birds nests!***
Cow birds, I believe. I hate the selfish things. I once saw a large baby cow bird chasing after a tiny sparrow for food thinking she was his mother. Felt sorry for the sparrow who sheltered it.
***Egad! The hubris of navel gazing! Here are your answers: Kittens are cute. Dogs are loyal. Both are loving, and they’re capable of expressing that love. End of research. Get a life.
P.S. We didn’t evolve.***
Yes, I’d forgotten about that bit. Makes you wonder what they spared us over the centuries.
My animals are among my best friends. Thanks for posting.
Glad you liked it. Good to hear from another animal lover.
There are two types of measers, the much more seen narrow style face and the original round apple style face measers. Truly they are one-of-kind.
I disagree, very strongly. My cat cries and moans if I shut my bedroom and office doors, waits for me at the door when I come home, and sleeps at my feet every night.
I agree to disagree. They are hunters.
There is also a nifty little cat called the Ocicat that resembles a small wildcat but is actually a Siamese-Abyssinian cross with a little Spotted Tabby thrown in.
A cat that's very like the Russian Blues (which after Measers are really too mellow for my taste) is the Chartreux, a nifty blue-green cat with bright orange eyes.
Maine Coons are nifty kitties, the size and heavy bone may derive from the Norwegian Forest Cat, or it could just be big old longhaired cats. The raccoon thing is just nonsense.
Dogs have masters, cats have staff.
A cat would sit there and complain about not getting fed or petted.
But they don’t do it for YOU. They do it for THEM.
I have pics of my show cats but have never scanned them, this was back when computers took up most of a good sized room. Most of their ancestors aren't on the internet anywhere either.
Maloja's Mr. B was a very handsome Blue Point male, and my big Blue Point looked just like him. Di Napoli, Sia-Mews, and Singa are all behind my cats . . . .
Here is a pretty Di Napoli cat, not in my bloodlines (probably a cousin) but looks just like one of my females:
Fan-T-C's Tee Cee was behind my older stud cat Mackie:
This is the cat I wish was NOT in my cats' bloodline - Thaibok Teriyaki. I saw him put his teeth right through Judge Walter Friend's hand at a cat show in Tennesee, and then hide under the bleachers and bite his owner for good measure. He had a TERRIBLE temper but was a very handsome cat. I thought since he was 3 generations back that the very mellow tempered mother of my stud cat would cancel it out . . . it did, sort of, but Finny was a little . . . edgy.
I can't believe nobody has posted a picture of Maloja's Mr. B. He was a magnificent Blue Point male, really perfect in every respect. I have a pic of him and I may just have to scan it.
Selective breeding isn’t evolution.
Selective breeding is intelligent design by humans.
Bad picture, but he just was a REALLY handsome boy.
Those new Pledge things work beautifully - the company says to throw them out when they're full (five minutes in MY house) but you can in fact open them, by snipping off one side and one end's worth of the little plastic pins with a pair of toenail clippers. That lets you open it enough to pull the huge furball out, but has enough pins left to snap back closed to keep going.