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Domesticated animals and plants are those species whose breeding and living conditions are under human control.

According to physiologist Jared Diamond, domesticated animals[?] must meet six criteria, in order to be considered domesticated (see also Guns, Germs and Steel).

  1. flexible diet[?] (not too cumbersome or expensive)
  2. growing up reasonably fast (see growth rate[?])
  3. breeding[?] in captivity
  4. pleasant disposition[?]
  5. unlikely to panic[?]
  6. modifiable social hierarchy[?] (recognise a human as its chief).

The boundaries between surviving wild populations and domestic clades[?] of elephants, for example, can become vague. This is due to the slow growth. Similar problems of definition arise when, say, cats go feral. A simple way of classification divides the animals into wild and tame animals, and zoo residents.

Despite long enthusiasm about revolutionary progress in farming, few crops and probably even fewer animals ever became domesticated. While the process continues with plants (berryfruits, for example), it appears to have ceased with animals.

Domesticated species, when bred for tractability, companionship or ornamentation rather than for survival, can often fall prey to disease: several sub-species of apples or cattle, for example, face extinction; and many dogs with very respectable pedigrees appear prone to genetic problems.

Domesticated plants may include:

Main article: List of domesticated plants

Domesticated fungi may include:

Domesticated animals include:

See also: agriculture

Reference: Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel; a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years, Jonathan Cape, London: 1979.

External links

  • A summary (http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1499.htm)



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