2 mammal questions:
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02-11-2016, 09:55 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?

No to both

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03-11-2016, 02:44 AM
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 is no such thing as "advanced". There are life forms that are very well adapted to their environment and some arent. There are some populating very small nices in the tree of evolution, and some occupiy broader areas.
Mammals are very successful and able to adapt and flourish in many environments for example because their offspring is developing inside the mother animals body, being protected from nature outside. While birds for example would lose their eggs to predators once they leave them, or the eggs get destroyed by a falling brick, or cold weather stops the development of those eggs, etc.

During the Cretaceous, dinos rules the planet. Mammals existed, but populated only a very small niche, and this wouldnt have probably changed if there wasnt a very sudden change in environmental pressure to adapt to a new situation, favouring smaller life forms in general.

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03-11-2016, 03:09 AM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
I think most people equate "advanced" to mean being, in some quality, like a human.

If this is so I would think that, in the nitty gritty, in terms of morals and ethics, the rule of whst we call law,, all animals are "primitive".

Dogs have been selected over many millennia to be "habituated" to human society, sort of, personally I would still not trust any dog 100% even if I raised it myself. 99.99% maybe. But that dog of mine would view strangers as potential threats, I expect a little better of humans. (Unless they are gun-toting strangers of course.)

Animals do not and never will subscribe 100% to the better human values or attain human intelligence. Humans can, of course, subscribe quite easily to "animal" values and worse.

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03-11-2016, 04:11 AM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(02-11-2016 07:08 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  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.

One of the interesting things from Dr. Dmitri Belyaev's work was that their team found that there seemed to be a genetic link not only to the appearance of the foxes who became domesticated (floppy ears, piebald fur pattern, etc) but to the behavior of those animals.

They took the ones who still showed strong aggression (the natural state of the foxes they captured) and bred them as a control group, then took the pups from that group and had them raised by the ones who showed no fear of humans (the domesticated group)... the "wild type" pups still grew up to show fear and aggression toward humans, and vice versa, when the domesticated pups were raised by the wild/aggressive surrogate parents. This strongly implies that there is a genetic component to the ability to even become domesticated.

No doubt the domestication of dogs, horses, etc., came about after humans specifically chose the less-aggressive ones to selectively keep and breed together. In other words, if one thinks one can domesticate an animal by species type, simply by raising it to be domesticated, it is unlikely that they will have success.

I would very much like to see more studies done on the link between the genetics and behavioral outcomes for the domesticated foxes versus the wild ones.

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03-11-2016, 05:15 AM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(03-11-2016 04:11 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(02-11-2016 07:08 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  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.

One of the interesting things from Dr. Dmitri Belyaev's work was that their team found that there seemed to be a genetic link not only to the appearance of the foxes who became domesticated (floppy ears, piebald fur pattern, etc) but to the behavior of those animals.

They took the ones who still showed strong aggression (the natural state of the foxes they captured) and bred them as a control group, then took the pups from that group and had them raised by the ones who showed no fear of humans (the domesticated group)... the "wild type" pups still grew up to show fear and aggression toward humans, and vice versa, when the domesticated pups were raised by the wild/aggressive surrogate parents. This strongly implies that there is a genetic component to the ability to even become domesticated.

No doubt the domestication of dogs, horses, etc., came about after humans specifically chose the less-aggressive ones to selectively keep and breed together. In other words, if one thinks one can domesticate an animal by species type, simply by raising it to be domesticated, it is unlikely that they will have success.

I would very much like to see more studies done on the link between the genetics and behavioral outcomes for the domesticated foxes versus the wild ones.

Many years ago there was a documentary about foxes being reared, in Russia, for the fir trade, many generations into the same lines and kept in small cages. In that they commented on the fact that the foxes were non-aggressive and were, even as adults, still infants emotionally. The exhibbited classical Pavlovian type responses.

It has often been said that most "pet" animals are to a degree retarded in their development, retaining many of their gentler, playful "young animal" characteristics. This has, of course, been bred for.

However, with my friend and her Yorkie I am often unable to distinguish exactly who has trained who...
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03-11-2016, 05:38 AM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(03-11-2016 05:15 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  However, with my friend and her Yorkie I am often unable to distinguish exactly who has trained who...

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03-11-2016, 05:54 AM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
Not all mammals are capable of being domesticated.

But, they are capable of becoming lunch..


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03-11-2016, 08:23 AM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
(03-11-2016 05:54 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Not all mammals are capable of being domesticated.

But, they are capable of becoming lunch..


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Dammit, now I want a buffalo-burger. Dodgy

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03-11-2016, 10:42 AM
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?

If you mean intellectual. Maybe.

Each species are usually the best in their own field.

Taking humans for example.
We're not the fastest. We're not the strongest. We can't breath underwater. We're not the best swimmers. Put us in a desert and we could die in a couple of hours. We can't jump the highest. Our vision isn't the most accurate. We're not the best at anything except for figuring shit out.

If it wasn't for our tech. and thumbs we would have been long forgotten.

But some where along the line we've considered ourselves the best.

(02-11-2016 04:23 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  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?

I recall seeing a video about a man that domesticated foxes. Threw selective breeding he was able to make a much more docile Grey Fox. Any fox that showed aggression or violent tendency was not used for breeding.

I would imagine the same process could be used to produce a breed of just about anything.

I've seen people with pet tigers. Hippos. wolves. snakes birds and chimps. I suppose so long as you can keep them happy, and fed. They may be less likely to attack you.

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03-11-2016, 11:13 AM
RE: 2 mammal questions:
Are all mammals good for eating?

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