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. :-)