What is domestication?

  • (noun): The attribute of having been domesticated.
    Synonyms: tameness
    See also — Additional definitions below


Domestication (from Latin domesticus) is the process where by a population of animals or plants is changed at the genetic level through a process of selection, in order to accentuate traits that benefit humans. It differs from taming in that a change in the phenotypical expression and genotype of the animal occurs, whereas taming is simply the process by which animals become accustomed to human presence. In the Convention on Biological Diversity, a domesticated species is defined as a "species in which the evolutionary process has been influenced by humans to meet their needs." Therefore, a defining characteristic of domestication is artificial selection by humans. Humans have brought these populations under their control and care for a wide range of reasons: to produce food or valuable commodities (such as wool, cotton, or silk), for types of work (such as transportation, protection, and warfare), scientific research, or simply to enjoy as companions or ornaments.

Read more about Domestication.

Some articles on domestication:

Self-domestication - In Humans
... Self-domestication describes theories of how humans developed and evolved ... The idea of self-domestication was used by early Social Darwinism which, according to psychiatrist Martin BrĂ¼ne in an article "On human self-domestication", developed from the idea that humans could perfect ... are typical examples where our self-domestication is most directly apparent," writes philosopher Masahiro Morioka, who also says that "Through domesticating ourselves like cattle ...
Anna Karenina Principle - Example: Failed Domestication
... From chapter 9 of Guns, Germs and Steel, six groups of reasons for failed domestication of animals are Diet - To be a candidate for domestication, a species must be easy ... having mating rituals prohibiting breeding in a farm-like environment make poor candidates for domestication ... Nasty Disposition - Some species are too mean and nasty to be good candidates for domestication ...
Kristen Gremillion - Research
... Kristen Gremillion has worked on research surrounding when and where the domestication of plants may have taken place in Eastern North America, focusing on the forager-farm ... Her research suggests that experimentation in plant domestication may have started in the uplands, instead of the rich soiled flood plains as former theories have suggested ... and would be able to experiment with domestication without having to travel great distances to get to the fertile flood plains ...

More definitions of "domestication":

  • (noun): Accommodation to domestic life.
    Example: "Her explorer husband resisted all her attempts at domestication"
  • (noun): Adaptation to intimate association with human beings.