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02-11-2016, 04:23 PM
2 mammal questions:
1 - Are mammals, scientifically speaking, the most advanced lifeforms? I thought about this because sheep can't smart their way out of a paper bag and octopi have demonstrated problem solving skills; however, can you really say a cephalopod is more biologically advanced than a mammal?

2 - Can any mammal be domesticated? I'm not talking to the levels of cats and dogs, but to the point where they could mostly be trusted? I understand that wild mammals can attack even if they have been raised by a human from infancy. I guess what I mean is do mammals have the highest potential to live with and interact with humans? If so, why?

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02-11-2016, 04:29 PM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(02-11-2016 04:23 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  1 - Are mammals, scientifically speaking, the most advanced lifeforms? I thought about this because sheep can't smart their way out of a paper bag and octopi have demonstrated problem solving skills; however, can you really say a cephalopod is more biologically advanced than a mammal?

2 - Can any mammal be domesticated? I'm not talking to the levels of cats and dogs, but to the point where they could mostly be trusted? I understand that wild mammals can attack even if they have been raised by a human from infancy. I guess what I mean is do mammals have the highest potential to live with and interact with humans? If so, why?

There are birds who are a lot smarter than lots of mammals also.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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02-11-2016, 04:36 PM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
You would have to define "advanced" to answer your first question, but I suppose you could loosely correlate it with specialization or DNA complexity, which apparently there's a water flea with more complex genes than us. I don't know how you'd generalize this across an entire type of animals though, since many crustaceans are quite simple. In general, mammals probably tend to be the most advanced though, if you look at organs/body functions and stuff like that.

As for domestication, I'd like to point out that birds (parrots in particular) often domesticate easier than most mammals, even give cats a run for their money. Cats do whatever the F they want haha. Also, I'd hate to try to domesticate a badger. Good luck.

A possible answer to your general question regarding mammals overall though, I'd say having common needs or mutually beneficial relationships was a large factor in the domestication of dogs/wolves. We gave them food, they gave us protection.

Anyways, that's my 2 cents, but I'm no evolutionary biologist. So don't take my word for it.

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02-11-2016, 04:52 PM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
My dog is taking calculus, when he's not surfing.
No really.
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02-11-2016, 07:08 PM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(02-11-2016 04:23 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  1 - Are mammals, scientifically speaking, the most advanced lifeforms? I thought about this because sheep can't smart their way out of a paper bag and octopi have demonstrated problem solving skills; however, can you really say a cephalopod is more biologically advanced than a mammal?

2 - Can any mammal be domesticated? I'm not talking to the levels of cats and dogs, but to the point where they could mostly be trusted? I understand that wild mammals can attack even if they have been raised by a human from infancy. I guess what I mean is do mammals have the highest potential to live with and interact with humans? If so, why?

1 - Advancement implies a goal or hierarchy. No such thing exists outside of our anthropocentric prejudices. There are bacteria that are such biochemical wizards that rather than spend decades reverse engineering their abilities we simply use their protiens and genes for our experiments. The platypus looks pretty primitve until you realize that "bill" is an exceptionally evolved sensory array that the NSA is envious of. We are all equally evolved, by about 4 billion years. Some critters just didn't evolve much in the way of brains.

2 - In principle, yes, and in many cases it can be done with frightening speed. A few decades back a Russian scientist decided to find out how long it took to breed domesticated dogs from wolves. Rather than start with wolves he used foxes to avoid contamination by dog DNA. Twenty generations later his selective breeding program had produced a "fox" that looked and acted like a collie.

In practice, domestication will be easier with social or pack animals that have a cheerful disposition to start with. You probably could domesticate the honey badger given enough time and effort but it wouldn't be my first choice. A short reproductive cycle is also handy. The african elephant would be ideal for domestication in many respects but your grandchildren would have to finish the breeding project for you.

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02-11-2016, 08:10 PM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(02-11-2016 04:23 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  1 - Are mammals, scientifically speaking, the most advanced lifeforms? I thought about this because sheep can't smart their way out of a paper bag and octopi have demonstrated problem solving skills; however, can you really say a cephalopod is more biologically advanced than a mammal?

2 - Can any mammal be domesticated? I'm not talking to the levels of cats and dogs, but to the point where they could mostly be trusted? I understand that wild mammals can attack even if they have been raised by a human from infancy. I guess what I mean is do mammals have the highest potential to live with and interact with humans? If so, why?

Uhmm.... KC, I don't know how to break this to you, but you are a mammal. Do you think you're a superior life form over an octopus? I mean... octopuses are bad ass, but they can't organize a social structure and travel to the moon. Tongue
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02-11-2016, 08:22 PM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(02-11-2016 04:36 PM)MustangManda Wrote:  Also, I'd hate to try to domesticate a badger.

Actually one day in 1961 (on a Sunday) in Spokane, WA as I was working at a gas station I saw a man walking a badger on a leash. (The badger was on the leash not the man :laughatSmile It was not quite downtown but close.

I was flabbergasted. If I hadn't seen it myself I wouldn't believe it. As MustangManda suggests it just isn't going to happen.

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02-11-2016, 08:31 PM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(02-11-2016 04:23 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  1 - Are mammals, scientifically speaking, the most advanced lifeforms?

No. The water bear is. It is capable of resurrecting from the dead. Take that Jesus. An entire species can do what you think is so special.

(02-11-2016 04:23 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  2 - Can any mammal be domesticated?

No. Honey badger. Tasmanian devil. Gotta be many more.

#sigh
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02-11-2016, 09:30 PM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(02-11-2016 04:23 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  2 - Can any mammal be domesticated?

One of my aunts says her husband can't be domesticated.

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02-11-2016, 09:36 PM (This post was last modified: 02-11-2016 09:51 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: 2 mammal questions:
'Advance' is subjective to the particular metric you're looking at. Humans might be the most advanced in terms of intelligence, but there are plenty of other examples of animals that are clearly better or 'more advanced' than us in other metrics. Birds of prey have better sight, Gorillas are stronger. Is being larger or smaller more advanced or less advanced? Are we more or less advanced than blue whales? We're clearly more well suited to land and they are more adapted to life in water, but which is more advanced? It all depends on the specific metric being evaluated, anything more than that is so broad as to be meaninglessly vague.

Not all mammals are good candidates for domestication, and for the most part the ones that were good candidates already were domesticated.




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