Why don't we domesticate other animals?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by spidergoat, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

    U read my mind! I think your poodle idea is very boring however. I would rather see my cheetah cub chase and run down easily, a couple of hares or rabbits

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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    The owner, Direk Siangthaen, 28, a restaurant operator in Mae Sot district, said he got the carcass of the miniature animal, known to locals as a "water elephant", from Burma. The carcass, which is about 7.5cm tall and 12.5 cm wide, weighs about 300 grams.

    wow, thats small, I bet its an elephant foetus
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  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    If humans descended from primates, couldn't it be possible to recreate by breeding, an intelligent ape? I know their intelligence is already considerable, but what if like breeding dogs for certain traits, we breed apes for brain size alone? Could we breed a human-like ape. Could we recreate under artificial conditions, the evolution of humans?
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  7. DarkMadMax Registered Senior Member

    I believe part of the problem is that apes have a long maturing period - unliked mos tother animals they need to be 12-14 year old to reach mating age.

    - If this program was started now it would take good 100-200 years to reach significant results.
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Oh, right.
  9. Phantom Registered Member

    I think if we can out-smart an animal in some way or another then we can domesticate it.

    If cartoon characters were real, then it wouldn't be possible to domesticate them.
  10. swansont Registered Senior Member

    There is a difference bteween domestication and taming. Jared Diamond covers this in his excellent book "Guns, Germs and Steel," in discussing the rise and spread of the various civilizations. Some animals just don't lend themselves to domestication (which requires breeding), even if they can be tamed.
  11. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    I hope you mean significant result to mean still a few thousand years to go. If not longer. And it might become intelligent in it's own way, but do you really think we could make it human? The genetic structure is already divergent enough from ours that we can't breed, so you can't throw in human genes to push the evolution to a "human" form. I suppose there's a good possibility that there would be similarities. Especially with the purpose being just that.

    From what I've been reading recently, the biggest difference between man and ape is the angular gyrus of the parietal lobe. From this area of the brain comes grammar, syntax, temporal sequencing. To begin with, the hand would be most important, it's thought that ours developed through increasingly complicated tool use (added steps in the construction) and from increased awareness (utilization) of body language. We then "co-opted" the functions for bigger and better things.

    There have been recent findings (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040202071730.htm There's more at the Nimh site, but the link isn't working today. It's at the bottom of the above linked page) about lateralization occuring in monkeys. (I was going to say chimps, but the article doesn't specify what type of monkey, and chimps aren't monkeys to begin with. Hmmm, I never found about lateralization in chimps then. Anyone know a reference to chimp brains?) An area in the temporal lobe of the left hemisphere is more active (and markedly so) than the same region on the right while listening to monkey vocalizations. When doing the scan on other monkies that had their hemispheres seperated, the lateralization disappeared. The left brain was actively damping out the right half and when they were split, the damping effect vanished. This would have to be congruous with Wernicke's area of our brains. In conjunction with the angular gyrus (and the areas of the brain connected by the angular gyrus), Wernicke's area supplies us with words.

    So, I guess to cut it short, Fraggle is most likely on the right track. If we can teach primates sign language to the point where they actually "live" it, pass it on to their children, become more and more dependent upon it, then eventually they might become intelligent. It would take more than a couple of hundred years though. And would likely take more than just sign language. They would have to be "tested" constantly. Put into situations where their use of language was critical to survival. This and they'd likely have to increase their tool use as well. But, I suppose that living as butlers in our household might be just the right environment for this to occur. We'd have to be cruel masters, though. They probably wouldn't thank us when it was all done.

    And, of course with all this, they are being made intelligent, not domesticated. They would undoubtably make very poor pets. I doubt if our ways would ever be close enough to their ways for us to live together equitably. In the end, one or the other would have to go.

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