Animal Science Blog

Animal Science

The Animal Science Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about scientific and technological topics related to pets, livestock, and other animals. See how cutting-edge advances help - or hinder - species around the world.

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Animal Articles - June 12, 2009

Posted June 12, 2009 12:01 AM by SavvyExacta

Here's this week's assortment of animal stories:

Could dog breeds be different species?

Notes on the early domestication of the cat.

World's largest horse is 6'8". (Also check out this week's blog entry on Clydesdales if you missed it.)

Belmont runner-up Dunkirk sidelined with a condylar fracture.

Pig poop = power.

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#1

Re: Animal Articles - June 12, 2009

06/12/2009 5:16 AM

A great article about when Cats domesticated hoomans.
Del

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Animal Articles - June 12, 2009

06/13/2009 10:12 PM

The miraculous has happened... I have to disagree with you Del... While there is an abundance of good information in this article it is my opinion that the authors either never had a pet cat in their lives or are simply incapable of relating to their cattiness because the have completely missed the boat regarding feline/human interaction. Some things you simply can't quantify in scientifically acceptable terminology, sometimes you have to accept that the thing you are studying doesn't want to be figured out...

Cats in general are unlikely candidates for domestication. The ancestors of most domesticated animals lived in herds or packs with clear dominance hierarchies. Solitary birds like hawks and falcons have been domesticated for millennia, this statement seems to be making the rash assumption that since an animal doesn't know it should have a 'boss' means it won't be tame-able, this is bollocks! In recent years it has been demonstrated that goldfish can be trained... You just have to learn to communicate with the animal you're dealing with... Cats don't react like dogs which don't react like horses which don't react like oxen which don't...

...as to utility to humans, let us just say cats do not take instruction well. And rocks don't cut easily with a shovel, but we've been digging rock quarries since about the stone age... and cats don't need to be trained to do the things we expect of them anyway, all we've ever really wanted from our feline friends is for them to obey the compulsions of their own instinct... well, maybe they could get over that pesky need to share their most recent fresh kill with my slipper... The point is that humans are persistent and capable of great patience and empathy, just because something is hard doesn't mean we won't take joy in overcoming it, just the opposite, the more difficult something is the more determined a pre-tv human will likely be (what else are they going to do?)

And the final nail in the coffin... the article describes how cats were domesticated by humans... as you well know humans were domesticated by cats... I've never seen a cat clean the 'human box' (though I've also never seen a dog step in a people poo...)

I just feel like the article is presenting poorly formed hypotheses as being demonstrable facts without actually having performed the experimentation.

Perhaps I'm overly pedantic, I am willing to concede that it is a good article.

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#2

Re: Animal Articles - June 12, 2009

06/12/2009 11:41 AM

Cat's may not contribute to human survival per say, but they do contribute to the quality of life. They keep houses pest free (our basement was free of pesky bugs in the years before my kitten could successfully stalk mice).

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#4
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Re: Animal Articles - June 12, 2009

06/13/2009 10:16 PM

A buddy of mine had a cat that would pin scorpions with its paw, bite off the stinger and then play with its new and improved arachnid toy until it stopped playing back... then it would go find a new toy...

Good Kitty!!!

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