Domestication - Limits


Selection of animals for visible “desirable” traits may make them unfit in other, unseen, ways. The consequences for the captive and domesticated animals were reduction in size, piebald color, shorter faces with smaller and fewer teeth, diminished horns, weak muscle ridges, and less genetic variability. Poor joint definition, late fusion of the limb bone epiphyses with the diaphyses, hair changes, greater fat accumulation, smaller brains, simplified behavior patterns, extended immaturity, and more pathology are a few of the defects of domestic animals, All of these changes have been documented in direct observations of the rat in the 19th century, by archaeological evidence, and confirmed by animal breeders in the 20th century.

One side effect of domestication has been zoonotic diseases. For example, cattle have given humanity various viral poxes, measles, and tuberculosis; pigs and ducks have given influenza; and horses have given the rhinoviruses. Humans share over sixty diseases with dogs. Many parasites also have their origins in domestic animals. The advent of domestication resulted in denser human populations which provided ripe conditions for pathogens to reproduce, mutate, spread, and eventually find a new host in humans.

Read more about this topic:  Domestication

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Famous quotes containing the word limits:

    You must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    The great ship, Balayne, lay frozen in the sea.
    The one-foot stars were couriers of its death
    To the wild limits of its habitation.
    These were not tepid stars of torpid places
    But bravest at midnight and in lonely spaces,
    They looked back at Hans’ look with savage faces.
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)

    ... there are no limits to which powers of privilege will not go to keep the workers in slavery.
    Mother Jones (1830–1930)