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More questions than answers as mystery of domestication deepens
Washington University in St Louis ^ | Monday, April 21, 2014 | Diana Lutz

Posted on 04/23/2014 11:25:00 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

...why did people domesticate a mere dozen or so of the roughly 200,000 species of wild flowering plants? And why only about five of the 148 species of large wild mammalian herbivores or omnivores? And while we’re at it, why haven’t more species of either plants or animals been domesticated in modern times? ...

[Fiona Marshall:] “We used to think cats and dogs were real outliers in the animal domestication process because they were attracted to human settlements for food and in some sense domesticated themselves. But new research is showing that other domesticated animals may be more like cats and dogs than we thought."

...the first domestications may have been triggered by climate change at the end of the last ice age — in combination with social issues.

As a result, people abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle they had successfully followed for 95 percent of human history and turned instead to the new strategies of farming and herding.

As we head into a new era of climate change, Marshall said it would be comforting to know that we understood what happened then and why.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.wustl.edu ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry; godsgravesglyphs
Why weren’t zebras ever domesticated? Baron Rothschild frequently drove a carriage pulled by zebras through the streets of 19th-century London. In “Guns, Germs and Steel,” Jared Diamond says the reason zebras were not domesticated is that they are extraordinarily vicious and will bite and not let go. But why weren’t people able to modify this temperament if they were able to gentle wolves into dogs? [OUT OF COPYRIGHT/CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE]

Why weren’t zebras ever domesticated? Baron Rothschild frequently drove a carriage pulled by zebras through the streets of 19th-century London. In “Guns, Germs and Steel,” Jared Diamond says the reason zebras were not domesticated is that they are extraordinarily vicious and will bite and not let go. But why weren’t people able to modify this temperament if they were able to gentle wolves into dogs? [OUT OF COPYRIGHT/CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE]

1 posted on 04/23/2014 11:25:00 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry

2 posted on 04/23/2014 11:26:53 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
As we head into a new era of climate change

Stop right there.

No point in going further if she starts with that.

3 posted on 04/23/2014 11:30:00 AM PDT by Regulator
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To: SunkenCiv

Once you’ve got houses nd donkeys, why bother with zebras? Once you can have sirloin and rack of lamb, why bother with wildebeest? The success of domestication creates its own limits. It works so well, we don’t need additional grain, fruits, vegetables or meats.


4 posted on 04/23/2014 11:31:15 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: muir_redwoods

Houses s/b horses


5 posted on 04/23/2014 11:32:00 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: SunkenCiv
Did man domesticate wolves into dogs, or were dogs already a separate species by the time they were domesticated — a species more conducive to being domesticated?
6 posted on 04/23/2014 11:33:00 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Regulator

Just another academic trying to tie their niche area of study to the global warming research grant gravy train. Large swaths of the scientific community have now been corrupted and utterly discredited by the rush for global warming dollars. They have cried “wolf” so many times now that it is nearly impossible to sort the true science from the politically-driven pseudo science.

If we removed all federal money from scientific research we would quickly find out what is real and what is not.


7 posted on 04/23/2014 11:42:33 AM PDT by noiseman (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

“Did man domesticate wolves into dogs, or were dogs already a separate species by the time they were domesticated — a species more conducive to being domesticated?”

You can’t even get today’s scientists to agree as to whether Dogs & Wolves constitute separate species, or are a single species. The “single species” group is in the minority, but they are pointing at the genetic similarities which is fairly recent evidence, I suppose.


8 posted on 04/23/2014 11:44:02 AM PDT by Tallguy
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To: SunkenCiv

I disagree about the first plant cultivation. I think that, at a much earlier date, man would have domesticated fruit trees such as olives, figs, and apples. Where the seeds fell, there would be seedings that could be transplanted. Also, many trees send out shoots which can also be transplanted. And we have known for quite a while that cuttings can be used to grow new trees.

As far as I am concerned, each of these steps are far less difficult to learn than grain domestication.


9 posted on 04/23/2014 11:46:20 AM PDT by Fractal Trader
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To: SunkenCiv

My Grandfather had a horse called Pinto Pete only he could ride him. Pete had a wall eye, a roman nose, and a nasty temper, nearly killed my cousin and broke my fathers thumb.

My Grand Dad, a very big and strong man, wore a set of black leather gloves, when riding, and every time Pete turned to bite him he hit him right between the eyes with all of his strength.

When Pete saw Grand Pa was going to be the rider he became a lap dog.


10 posted on 04/23/2014 11:46:43 AM PDT by Little Bill (EVICT Queen Jean)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Do you think wolves, coyotes, jackals, dingos and all the rest look down their muzzles at dogs?
I remember a Larson cartoon, two wolves at the edge of woods looking over a (former?) pack mate hanging around the curtilage of a caveman campfire: “Look at his eyes, the cringing submission, I tell you, Sid’s domesticated!”
I think DNA tests ruled-out jackals as dog ancestors, and that’s a good thing, I think.


11 posted on 04/23/2014 12:01:12 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: muir_redwoods

Yup, once a role is filled adequately why bother taking the time to develop a completely redundant capability from scratch with a different species? Especially when that other species may lack the capabilities of the one it is redundant to.

Raccoons seek out human settlements for food as well. But theycare decidely lacking in many areas to both dogs and cats, which are very much multi-mission tools.


12 posted on 04/23/2014 12:04:20 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: SunkenCiv
...why did people domesticate a mere dozen or so of the roughly 200,000 species of wild flowering plants? And why only about five of the 148 species of large wild mammalian herbivores or omnivores? And while we’re at it, why haven’t more species of either plants or animals been domesticated in modern times?

Because those were the plants that tasted good and weren't overly difficult to grow. As for the animals, try milking a jaguar. Seriously, it would be too hard to breed a deer that couldn't jump a fence, or to build fences that would hold them. Additionally, venison bacon sucks.

13 posted on 04/23/2014 12:15:24 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan

I think they’re on the ball regarding the predisposition of some species to be domesticated. Some species, such as deer, talking birds, etc, can be hand-tamed from early in life, and yet still have to be kept confined in some way. A preceramic culture left the mainland for Cyprus about 8000 years ago and built a village that was inhabited for some period of time. Their origin is known because all the remains of food species in their rubbish tips were from the mainland, and included a species of deer which they’d corral (and maybe preemptively cripple) and slaughter as needed. Of course, animal husbandry of that kind requires agriculture to supply feed.


14 posted on 04/23/2014 12:41:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Plant domestication could easily be lost. Every farming family used to have their own variety of grain passed down through the generations. However once the railways were introduced the grain was placed into rail cars and homogenization was forced to keep from having so many different varieties mixed together. The world lost tens of thousands of varieties of grain from this one change in infrastructure!


15 posted on 04/23/2014 12:45:51 PM PDT by Teflonic
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To: SunkenCiv

The book “Guns, Germs and Steel” devotes a chapter explaining why some plants were easier to domesticate then other. And why some were never domesticated.

Also discussed why some animals were never domesticated.

Didn’t seem to complicated when he got done explaining it.


16 posted on 04/23/2014 12:48:29 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Fractal Trader

Grain domestication (in the case of barley) goes back 14,000 RC years (uncalibrated, so longer ago); the domestication of wheat was accidental — the seeds that hung on better wouldn’t fall onto the ground when the stems were being cut at harvest time, and those got replanted. In a matter of a human lifetime or less there was a stable domesticated variety. Direct evidence in the form of a surviving sample of wheat will probably be hard to come by, because it will have either been eaten or decayed, leaving no trace. Finding that barley was rather amazing.

Nectarines were already cultivated in Sumeria; the wiki-wacky sez peaches were first cultivated in the interior of China about 2000 BC and intro’d to India and the Middle East later on, but also states that nectarines and peaches are the same species, so something’s a little off. Also related to peaches and nectarines are plums, apricots, almonds, and (sez wiki) cherries.

The pomegranate has been cultivated a long while, as have dates (7000 years at least, if memory serves), figs, and lots of other berries and tree fruits. Apples were enjoyed during the Roman Empire.

Science Traces Roots Of ‘Traditional English’ Apple Back To Central Asia
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2916120/posts


17 posted on 04/23/2014 12:52:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: muir_redwoods

Different species available in different places are one constraint; availability of that species through trade and migration is another constraint. Whatever was the least trouble, or, whomever was best *at* doing it, was yet another constraint.


18 posted on 04/23/2014 1:23:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Jeff Chandler; blam

Domestication of dogs is now believed to be much earlier than used to be the case, and that’s based on remnants of DNA from dog remains that were also RC-datable.


19 posted on 04/23/2014 1:24:58 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
They were domesticated because they were useful and/or taste good.

Compare a Prime Beef Steak to venison and you'll see what I mean.

Don't get me wrong, Venison is great. But it's not prime beef either.

20 posted on 04/23/2014 1:25:48 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Little Bill

Pinto Pete was danged lucky that no one liked horse meat that much, eh? :’)


21 posted on 04/23/2014 1:28:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

It’s just wrong that to get money for very valid and interesting research some “climate change” angle seems necessary.


22 posted on 04/23/2014 1:30:45 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

That’s one of the problems of modern interdisciplinary studies. It shouldn’t have to be.


23 posted on 04/23/2014 1:32:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Mariner

:’) The main advantage to, for example, the auroch, which was (or at least believed to be) the wild species from which modern cattle come, is that they didn’t run needlessly and didn’t care much whether there was a barrier around them so long as the food was available.

Even before domestication, the open range for the animals made it possible to hunt them effectively without necessarily moving around by the season, because they moved by the herd and stayed in areas where their food was. My belief is that meat was so desirable — and the higher protein led to more brain development in utero and in childhood — that fixed communities of hunter-gatherers were the transitional phase between migratory human bands and settled agriculture.


24 posted on 04/23/2014 1:50:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site
http://history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin/

Earliest Mound Site
http://archive.archaeology.org/9801/newsbriefs/mounds.html

Watson Brake, a Middle Archaic Mound Complex in Northeast Louisiana
http://www.saa.org/AbouttheSociety/Publications/AmericanAntiquity/Volume70Number4October2005/WatsonBrakeaMiddleArchaicMoundComplexinN/tabid/501/Default.aspx

Ouachita River Mounds: A Five Millennium Mystery
http://www.louisianafolklife.org/LT/Articles_Essays/ouachita_mds.html

Myth of the Hunter-Gatherer
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/1190694/posts


25 posted on 04/23/2014 1:54:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Tallguy
Dogs First Domesticated in Europe over 18,000 Years Ago, mtDNA Study Shows

Also, I've read that one guy speculates that dogs domesticated us.

26 posted on 04/23/2014 2:10:45 PM PDT by blam
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To: Jeff Chandler

http://news.discovery.com/animals/pets/dogs-not-as-close-kin-to-wolves-as-thought-140116.htm


27 posted on 04/23/2014 2:35:39 PM PDT by Salamander (Agent Of Fortune)
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To: SunkenCiv
That is where Natural Selection came in, my Grandfather died and my Uncle gave him to another farmer and Old Pete was taken out of the gene pool shortly there after.

I can't remember if he was bred but if he was I am sure that his foals noticed the consequences of bad behavior and adjusted.

28 posted on 04/23/2014 2:35:50 PM PDT by Little Bill (EVICT Queen Jean)
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To: SunkenCiv
I've spent thousands of years with zebras on a domestication project. Finally, using MRI technology and deep brain scans, we've discovered what's at issue.

It's the stripes.

Zebras just don't see themselves as part of civilized society.

29 posted on 04/23/2014 3:06:37 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: SunkenCiv

RC = Roman Catholic years?


30 posted on 04/23/2014 3:08:46 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: SunkenCiv

And just small marginal differences between groups would quickly add up. Think of Koreans when Americans first came during the war. They were small, but now Koreans are as big as an average American, though not quite so tasty when bbq’d.


31 posted on 04/23/2014 3:11:10 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

:’)


32 posted on 04/23/2014 3:26:52 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: 1010RD

Radiocarbon.


33 posted on 04/23/2014 3:27:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: muir_redwoods
Once you’ve got houses nd donkeys, why bother with zebras?

There are places where horses cannot do well because of the native pests, which do not affect zebras.
34 posted on 04/23/2014 4:31:01 PM PDT by Nepeta
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To: SunkenCiv
It was all about beer, every last thing drills down to beer when you dig back through history.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1. Liberals; and
2. Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q’s and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girliemen.

35 posted on 04/23/2014 4:43:43 PM PDT by Hootowl99
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To: Fractal Trader
I disagree about the first plant cultivation. I think that, at a much earlier date, man would have domesticated fruit trees such as olives, figs, and apples.

I tend to agree.

And a grove of trees at winter camp would be able to be left to grow without supervision ready to be picked when you returned in the fall.

36 posted on 04/23/2014 4:49:11 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: muir_redwoods
Once you’ve got houses nd donkeys, why bother with zebras?

Hard to disagree with that. I'd much rather live in a house than a zebra :).

37 posted on 04/23/2014 8:41:27 PM PDT by MCH
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