Domesticated animals

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,401
Italy, Lago Maggiore
You mention swans ... in my home town there are almost domesticated swans [they look for human presence], but they still live on their own.

The problem about swans is that they need a wide water basin. You cannot keep a swan in your bathtub! But if you often go where they rest on the coast they will consider you not hostile, so friendly. I've noted this in my hometown [where swans are substantially honorary citizens ...].
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,757
Florania
Chickens are said to have come from guinea fowl.
Cattle from aurochs.
Cats from desert small felines.
Dogs from wolves and foxes.
Sheep and pigs from wild sheep and boars respectively.
Horses from wild horses like Prozewskl's horse.
Goats from wild goats.

Domestication though is sketchy imho. Or more how humans first domesticated these species.
How did humans first capture aurochs? Did some hunter-gatherers just one day decide to circle an aurochs herd, and then pen them in? Aurochs were more dangerous by far than modern cattle. And modern cattle can be dangerous if needed. Horses too can be bad-ass, and to capture a horse herd even today (with domesticated breeds) can be hard work.

It must have happened on a small scale first. Maybe hunter-gatherers over many decades or centuries noted there were large animal herds nearby, observed their behaviour, and eventually with information passed down over generations knew how to handle them.
The same must have been true with agriculture. They may have seen that the proto-wheat or apples nearby tasted good, but it must been some time (like centuries) that they discovered how to grow them, harvest them, and keep away pests.

It must have been an organic process (pun intended) and not something sudden as we've been led to believe.
Guinea fowls and chickens have different scientific names:
Guinea fowl (at least helmeted guinea fowls): Numida meleagris
Red junglefowl (the original chicken): Gallus gallus

Due to their adorable appearance, tame temperament and small size, fennec foxes have been tamed and captive-bred; they are still far from domesticated.