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Old 07-27-2013, 06:56 AM
 
Location: God's Country
5,188 posts, read 3,791,515 times
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The Asian water buffalo has served man for millenia, laboring in a family's rice paddy, etc. They're almost like pets. In fact, personal experience in VietNam showed them to be protective of the family's children.

By contrast, the African cape buffalo remains a wild and dangerous animal.

Similarly, the Asian elephant has been a laborer, means of transportation, and used in entertainment, such as circuses. More recently, they play sports, eg., soccer.

Meanwhile, the African elephant remains a wild and dangerous animal.

The horse too has served man for ages, but training a zebra has been largely futile. Even when one has been tamed, it often regresses to a wild state.

One theory is that Africa has a larger variety of predators and these animals need to keep their instincts for survival razor sharp. Accordingly, their genetic memories prevent them from being receptive to attempts at domestication.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
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This was fascinating to read. I thought that African elephants had been used in various endeavors. I wish they would stomp every poacher that tries to take their tusks....<s> I like the theory posited that "their genetic memories prevent them from being receptive to attempts at domestication". It probably took many, many generations to domesticate the horse, chickens, etc, etc. It didn't happen overnight, I would think.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:15 AM
 
Location: God's Country
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
I thought that African elephants had been used in various endeavors. I wish they would stomp every poacher that tries to take their tusks....<s>
Amen. Then there are the dirtballs who kill rhinos for their horns and sharks for their fins.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:50 AM
 
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I'm not sure why there has not been a domestication event for cape buffalo. The aurochs in Europe and the water buffalo in Asia were domesticated.

The aurochs was a deadly, aggressive, unpredictable wild bovine. It was considered to be the true "mark of a man" if you were able to kill an aurochs with a spear (which is the foundation of the Spanish tradition of bullfighting; similar marks are afforded African hunters who bring down cape buffalo), yet the aurochs was domesticated around 10,000 years ago in Europe.

I'm not sure that it is so much about the wildness of the wildlife in Africa. It may be more about the particular character of human civilization throughout history on the African continent. Hunter gatherers don't really thrive as much as they survive. Thriving happens when you are able to specialize in the widespread production of a cereal grain like rice or wheat. If you have more food than you need and can store it for long periods of time, then you are able to focus on the manipulation of your environment; things like killing all the large predators around your settlement, penning and gentling water buffalo and changing their character through husbandry to select for less aggressive, more pliable individuals. If all of your time is spent hungry and pursuing your next uncertain meal and trying not to become a meal for a crocodile, you are subject to your environment rather than master of it.

Just a thought.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:43 AM
 
Location: God's Country
5,188 posts, read 3,791,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleonidas View Post
I'm not sure why there has not been a domestication event for cape buffalo. The aurochs in Europe and the water buffalo in Asia were domesticated.

The aurochs was a deadly, aggressive, unpredictable wild bovine. It was considered to be the true "mark of a man" if you were able to kill an aurochs with a spear (which is the foundation of the Spanish tradition of bullfighting; similar marks are afforded African hunters who bring down cape buffalo), yet the aurochs was domesticated around 10,000 years ago in Europe.

I'm not sure that it is so much about the wildness of the wildlife in Africa. It may be more about the particular character of human civilization throughout history on the African continent. Hunter gatherers don't really thrive as much as they survive. Thriving happens when you are able to specialize in the widespread production of a cereal grain like rice or wheat. If you have more food than you need and can store it for long periods of time, then you are able to focus on the manipulation of your environment; things like killing all the large predators around your settlement, penning and gentling water buffalo and changing their character through husbandry to select for less aggressive, more pliable individuals. If all of your time is spent hungry and pursuing your next uncertain meal and trying not to become a meal for a crocodile, you are subject to your environment rather than master of it.

Just a thought.
2nd paragraph is more than "Just a thought"; rather a first-rate rationale. As for the "aurochs," I learned something new today.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:13 PM
 
55,200 posts, read 43,978,557 times
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This topic is covered BRILLIANTLY in a national geographic article on domesticating foxes.

If you can get hold of a copy, it would answer many of the questions and musings in this thread and then some.

March 2011 issue.

This article is good too, but the Fox article in the issue is really worth your time.
Animal Domestication: Taming the Wild - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:26 PM
 
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Yes I saw a special on pbs about this, or was it one with wolves? Anyway they bred the more docile offsprings of each generation and within 3 or 4 generations the animal even had different fur and snout and was a totally domesticated dog.

Those animals that are beasts of burdens for their masters were bred for that generations ago. Those that are still wild were never bred, probably as Cleonidas stated, the people were not interested or capable of breeding them for their purposes.
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