Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World

Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World


“An crucial learn for an individual drawn to the tales of the animals in our domestic or on our plate.”―BBC Focus

Without our domesticated vegetation and animals, human civilization as we all know it should now not exist. we might nonetheless be residing at subsistence point as hunter-gatherers if now not for domestication. it truly is no coincidence that the cradle of civilization―the heart East―is the place sheep, goats, pigs, farm animals, and cats started their fatefully intimate organization with humans.

Before the rural revolution, there have been possibly 10 million people on the earth. Now there are greater than 7 billion people. Our domesticated species have additionally thrived, in stark distinction to their wild ancestors. In a human-constructed environment―or man-made world―it will pay to be domesticated.

Domestication is an evolutionary method firstly. What such a lot distinguishes domesticated animals from their wild ancestors are genetic changes leading to tameness, the potential to tolerate shut human proximity. yet choice for tameness frequently leads to a number of probably unrelated by-products, together with floppy ears, skeletal changes, diminished aggression, elevated sociality, and diminished mind measurement. it is a package referred to as the domestication syndrome.

Elements of the domestication syndrome are available in each domesticated species―not merely cats, canine, pigs, sheep, farm animals, and horses but additionally more moderen human creations, resembling domesticated camels, reindeer, and laboratory rats. That domestication leads to this suite of adjustments in the sort of large choice of mammals is an engaging evolutionary tale, person who sheds a lot mild at the evolutionary procedure in general.

We people, too, exhibit indicators of the domestication syndrome, which a few think was once key to our evolutionary luck. by way of this view, human evolution parallels the evolution of canines from wolves, in particular.

A typical storyteller, Richard C. Francis weaves background, archaeology, and anthropology to create a desirable narrative whereas seamlessly integrating the main state of the art principles in twenty-first-century biology, from genomics to evo-devo.

a hundred illustrations

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