Posts Tagged ‘domestication’

C. lupus familiaris

Friday, 20 June 2008

Yester-day, I saw a couple of especially small Yorkshire terriers (each at a different place and time). Often, when I see little dogs, I wonder what their lupine ancestors would have thought and done if they could have known that H. sapiens was going to do this to their children.

I understand that the initial process of domestication was likely to have been as much something undertaken by the wolves themselves as by the humans. Domestication was often a matter of plants or animals adapting to human beings without humans first thinking to selectively breed or train the other species.

(Indeed, in a sense, H. sapiens even domesticated ourselves without deliberately setting-out to do so, becoming increasingly neotenic.)

But, at some stage, people got it into their heads to shape deliberately some domesticated plants and animals. And, in the case of wolves, one result has been tiny, fragile creatures, utterly incapable of survival for more than a matter of days if left to fend for themselves.