Microbes make chemicals for scent marking in a cat

Domestic cats, like many other mammals, use smelly secretions from anal sacs to mark territory and communicate with other animals. A new study from the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis shows that many ...

What's killing sea otters? Scientists pinpoint parasite strain

Many wild southern sea otters in California are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, yet the infection is fatal for only a fraction of sea otters, which has long puzzled the scientific community. A study from the ...

Breaking the cycle between family violence and homelessness

Women who become homeless as a result of family and domestic violence are also facing legal and financial issues that make it hard for them to make a fresh start, according to an evaluation report on the Safe as Houses pilot ...

How to thrive when foreign competitors enter your market

Researchers from University of Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines how incumbent domestic companies can use marketing tools to counter the threat of ...

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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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