Breeding foxes for opposite behaviors produces similar brain changes

Farmed foxes selectively bred for tameness and aggressiveness exhibit similar changes to their brain anatomy, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. Both lineages also have larger brains than conventional ...

Sparkling beaches: Cyprus has cleanest waters in EU

Tourism in Cyprus got a shot in the arm Tuesday after Europe's environmental watchdog ranked the country first among the European Union's 27 nations for having the cleanest swimming waters.

Red foxes feasting on Australian mammals

Scientists at Murdoch University's Harry Butler Institute (HBI) have discovered that red foxes are ravaging a larger range of Australian animals than previously realized, with 70% of fox diet samples turning up mammal remains.

What the new pangenome reveals about bovine genes

When researchers at ETH Zurich compared the reference genomes between several breeds of domestic cattle and closely related wild cattle, they discovered genes with previously unknown functions.

What is catnip and is it safe for my cat?

There are many valid theories to explain the global appeal of cats, including our obsession with watching videos of them online. In terms of cats' pure entertainment value, however, our fascination is probably attributable ...

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Domestication

Domestication (from Latin domesticus) or taming refers to the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. A defining characteristic of domestication is artificial selection by humans. Some species such as the Asian Elephant, numerous members of which which have for many centuries been used as working animals, are not domesticated because they have not normally been bred under human control, even though they have been commonly tamed. Humans have brought these populations under their care for a wide range of reasons: to produce food or valuable commodities (such as wool, cotton, or silk), for help with various types of work (such as transportation or protection), for protection of themselves and livestock, to enjoy as companions or ornamental plant, and for scientific research, such as finding cures for certain diseases.

Plants domesticated primarily for aesthetic enjoyment in and around the home are usually called house plants or ornamentals, while those domesticated for large-scale food production are generally called crops. A distinction can be made between those domesticated plants that have been deliberately altered or selected for special desirable characteristics (see cultigen) and those domesticated plants that are essentially no different from their wild counterparts (assuming domestication does not necessarily imply physical modification). Likewise, animals domesticated for home companionship are usually called pets while those domesticated for food or work are called livestock or farm animals.

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