Talk:Domestication

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Substandard?[edit]

This article in general feels remarkably different to the majority of wikipedia articles... It seems to be substandard with some contradictory statements, very loose grammar, and very loose facts (a tiglon is domesticated? really?)... The article reads like a collection of high school reports mishmashed together with several different 'voices' to be heard, and the habit of occasionally rambling. However, I am no wiki expert. That said, I think I'd recommend this page for a rewrite... but have no idea how one would go about suggesting such a thing, or if my suggestion is valid. ColbyWolf (talk) 19:42, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

confused method of change?[edit]

In the backgrd section, the role of mutation in natural vs artificial selection seems confused. Reference is made to debate about mutation vs artiticial selection (by humans). However... as I understand it, mutation is key to both. Here is my understanding of the mechanism of evolution:

  • mutations occur naturally and randomly, normally very small incremental change -- simply the normal variability seen between different individuals of any species.
  • some selection mechanism then chooses which of those individuals produce offspring, thus passing on their genetic characteristics
  • overtime, those selected characteristics come to dominate the norm in the species -- that is evolution
  • as to the selection mechanism it can be either:

(1) natural -- this is natural selection, the natural competion for survival, in which the best adapted do best and produce the most offspring; or (2) artificial -- as when humans pick characteristics they want and breed for it. Note that while the one is natural and the other artificial, both are based upon mutation to produce the actual (random) changes. Have I got this right? Any actual evolutionary biologists out there who can comment. Wolseleydog (talk) 17:25, 13 February 2010 (UTC)


THIS IS SO TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.21.22.7 (talk) 21:11, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

domestication != taming ?[edit]

The first line equates domestication and taming, the next line distinguishes domestication as a heritable trait versus taming as an individual trait (as the rest of the article).

As an evolutionary biologist this coincides with my preferences/prejudices, but I know that the domestication concept is very much used as a cultural and non- or less-biological concept in STS research (a viewpoint totally lacking from the article). So I don't dare to alter the article as I'm not enough of an expert to choose one way or the other; I'm just pointing out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 144.173.5.197 (talk) 09:06, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

yeah I am pretty sure that is right. taming is where you catch an animal from the wild, and train it. there should be a separate article on taming. 98.206.155.53 (talk) 05:56, 5 October 2010 (UTC)


Under the heading "Degrees", in the paragraph discussing "Raised in Captivity/Captured from Wild", there is a statement which says "and animals such as Asian black bears (farmed "cruelly" for their bile)".

While I agree that bear bile farming is horrifically cruel, it gives the article a moral judgement tone that does not fit with an encyclopedia.

I suggest the parenthesis and the word "cruelly" be removed, and the sentence read "and animals such as Asian black bears which are farmed for their bile". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Philip72 (talkcontribs) 18:18, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

I am new to editing wikipedia, so I don't know if it is PC to post a link to a kid's film I made a film about animal domestication. My film is called "Why don't we ride zebras?" It is on youtube and on a science/natural history web channel called TERRA. http://www.lifeonterra.com/episode.php?id=191 13smithwalker (talk) 00:40, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Kid's film? No problem for it being a kid's film. It could be useful in explaining why zebras are not domesticated. The great animal trainer Gunther Gebel Williams once said that he could not even approach taming a zebra even if it might be an attractive animal to train. (He also mentioned the domestic cat, an animal unsuited to the circus because it is difficult to keep in an enclosure through which it can be seen and because it can easily escape any enclosure; contrast dogs and big cats which have similar abilities if not the same perception of danger). The book did not express a reason. Could it be that zebras see humans only as predators because human behavior is so characteristic of a predator? Horses, in contrast, have found us useful and comparatively trustworthy.

Video as evidence can be troublesome, though. Is the film representative? Is it made by trustworthy people? Is it free from sensationalism and staging? Are people making the film authorities in their field? A transcript would be better as documentation because it would be easier to cite.Pbrower2a (talk) 01:04, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Domestication in other animals?[edit]

Came to this article wondering if there were any examples of domestication in nature. The initial description in the article suggests that domestication purely exists between humans and "Other species". Does anyone know if there are examples in nature or is this a pureley human trait? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.36.213.28 (talk) 21:00, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Domestication is a form of Mutualism. For example, the process by which ants will "farm" aphids is considered mutualistic, not domestication, because domestication is by definition a human activity. While you might be able to make an argument for whether or not they are "the same thing", that would be OR and certainly outside the scope of the article. AdamBellaire (talk) 17:52, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe ants are the only animals to have domesticated another species. in this case a fungus. 98.206.155.53 (talk) 05:56, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

No, the ambrosia beetle also cultivates a fungus which they "farm" inside galleries excavated in the xylem of trees. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.145.214.231 (talk) 21:05, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

IIRC, there is a species of ant that farms and herds mealy bugs. LorenzoB (talk) 19:10, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Second circle?[edit]

What means second circle in the context of the domestication of animals? — Daniel FR (talk) 01:07, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Good question. There appears to be no sourcing to this as well. Whoever added appears to think that owning a specimen of a particular species is the same thing as having tamed it, and also that taming is the same thing as domestication. Myrkkyhammas (talk) 18:43, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I came here to ask the same question. GoEThe (talk) 10:02, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

cats[edit]

the article states that only 12 species have been "domesticated". I miss cats in the list (imnsho, cats aren't "domestic" anyway; but that's the point of the debate). perhaps the criteria to define "domestication" is too restrictive, or cat lovers perhaps are too lax. Comments? Lwyx (talk) 23:35, 9 August 2011 (UTC)


yes, pets are a significant component of domestication, not just cats though81.152.200.124 (talk) 15:55, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Domestic cats are as bloodthirsty predators as any wild cats. Except for their small size (contrast dogs which range in size up to that of lionesses and are similarly powerful, strong, agile, cunning, and voracious) they would be man-eaters. The largest breeds of domestic dog rival all of the Big Cats in size except tigers and male lions, but dogs are roughly equals to humans in the food chain. Dogs and humans are generally not on the meal list of each other, and they find each other useful.

Cats get away with more wild behaviors and are less adapted from wildness than any other domesticated animal, and even revert to wildness more easily than any other animal considered domesticated. They are extremely difficult to control, but mistakes in handling the domestic cat don't have the severe consequences that mishandling a dog might imply. But if they have changed less from a wild animal than some animals have -- then maybe a domestic cat is closer to perfection as a household pet than anything else. A cat can be a marvelous companion, rivaling the dog as such. It might be a wild animal for all practical purposes once it leaves a household enclosure, but if it returns to the family it is not a wild animal.

If it lives consistently in a human enclosure -- in that respect it is more domesticated than a horse or any livestock. It is clearly not a dangerous animal, which rules out just about every other species of cat. It is not vermin. The animal most similar to its role (unless one is to introduce foxes or ferrets as domesticated animals) is the dog. So what is it other than a domestic creature?

With dogs and cats, domestication is not complete control by humans. Cats and dogs have shown themselves capable of manipulating human behavior to their advantage. The domestication of dogs and cats is not all one way.Pbrower2a (talk) 01:32, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

guns germs and steel guns germs and steel guns germs and steel ad nauseum[edit]

That's the impression I get from this article.

I have no problem with citing Jared Diamond as a source and putting "guns germs and steel" at the bottom with the other sources but constant off topic quibbling is an irritating distraction, something that should be minimized in wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.152.200.124 (talk) 14:49, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

edit: taming is not synonymous with domestication[edit]

Changed the introduction where it said "domestication or 'taming' is.... As an animal or plant is only classified as domesticated if human intervention has resulted in genetic change in the species. (dogs from wolves, modern corn from the old barely edible stuff)

Wording might be awkward, and i probably made typos, so someone might want to clean it up.

For a citation see any basic anthropology text. I just came here to check a date. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.91.165.14 (talk) 14:44, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Taming needs its own article[edit]

Why does "taming" redirect to "domestication"? Not only taming needs a separate article and has none, but this redirection prevents making one. denis "spir" (talk) 11:57, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Domesticated lions?[edit]

I read in a newspaper yesterday (The Independent, 12 October 2012, page 9) that a pride of captive lions from the managerie of Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is now genetically distinct from other African lions. They have been bred for darker manes and to be smaller and squatter. These changes are presumably "...in order to accentuate traits that benefit humans" (aesthetics). So, these are presumably 'Domesticated lions'! Should these be included in this article? __DrChrissy (talk) 17:50, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Is dependency "usual" or "common" or "occaisional"[edit]

An editor recently changed in the opening para. the word "common" to usual when relating to a dependency on humans and ability to live in the wild. The editor was correct to make the change because the citation refers to the following definition "to tame (an animal), especially by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet or work animal and usually creating a dependency so that the animal loses its ability to live in the wild." But is this a case where the definition is incorrect. Most of the domesticated species I can think of have feral populations somewhere, so they are not dependent.__DrChrissy (talk) 19:27, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Replace content of domestication syndrome with a better reference[edit]

I removed the content below which was previously written under sub-heading "Plants", section "Background", as it's adapted from a lecture note: Domesticated plant species often differ from their wild relatives in predictable ways. These differences are called the domestication syndrome, and include:

  • Higher germination ratesMore predictable & synchronous germination
  • Increased size of reproductive organs
  • A tendency for ripe seeds to stay on the plant, rather than breaking off and falling to the ground
  • Reduced physical and chemical defences
  • Change in biomass allocation (more in fruits, roots, or stems, depending on human needs).

I replaced with a list of characteristic of domesticated plants taken from a more prominent publication on plant domestication and cultivation (Zeven, A. C., & de Wit, J. M. (1982). Dictionary of Cultivated Plants and Their Regions of Diversity, Excluding Most Ornamentals, Forest Trees and Lower Plants). MKwek (talk) 04:16, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Change Ox to Cattle?[edit]

I would like to propose a change to change Ox to Cattle. Cattle is the general term which describes both cows and bulls. Ox is specifically the male who is castrated and used as a draft or load animal. So it would be proper to talk of domestication of cattle or cow than Ox. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.189.128.12 (talk) 18:49, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Scientific definitions for domesticity and tame[edit]

What is the conclusive general statement for domestication? I believe this include domestication by human beings as the essence for its scientific definition. How about taming? Tame? Tame in the dictionary means - to domesticate an animal but tame may have 2 persona in science- tame but without human intervention such as island animals and tame those with human intervention. The same thing with wild- wild which are really wild and wild which shows patterns of "domesticity" or "tameness" as in island animals. In Savillo's proposed domesticity scale for wild birds he stated- Domesticity is not slavery or indoctrination of wild birds- this is the observable natural behavior of "wild" birds to humans in the surroundings per se (how "homely" to humans) which include tame birds (without human intervention/domestication) such as island birds- Galapagos. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 112.202.9.25 (talk) 03:37, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Neoteny[edit]

This article sorely needs some discussion of physiological and psychological neoteny, or pedomorphosis, defined as the retention, by adults, of traits previously seen only in the young, which is commonly encountered among domesticated animals, and is well documented in the human species, at least physiologically. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:304:AE82:3D49:5918:303F:AC1:C5F0 (talk) 07:24, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Modern instances Is this Reliable?[edit]

Modern instances looks a little suspicious (i mean the list). Does any expert on the topic know about this?--Inayity (talk) 10:11, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Canary (Islands)[edit]

Looks like somebody had some fun by adding the Canary Islands as domestication location for the Canary. I am not sure if this could be correct but I am pretty sure the islands were named after dogs, not birds. 122.108.247.204 (talk) 04:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Humans?[edit]

Humans? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.175.50.162 (talk) 06:26, 19 July 2014 (UTC)