Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:30 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Zebras and Unhappy Marriages: A serious discussion, 2 
Author Message
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Official Newbie!


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Zebras and Unhappy Marriages: A serious discussion, 2
( The previous discussion of this is locked booktalk.org/zebras-and-unhappy-marriag ... t3695.html; another is combined with other issues http://www.booktalk.org/post99636.html#p99636 )

In "Zebras and Unhappy Marriages", about animal domestication, the author notes that Eurasia had more *domesticable* large mammals (cows, goats, sheep etc) than other regions. They are domesticable by with factors such as living in herds rather than solitary; having a hierarchical organization (so we can easily lead them); able to tolerate other herds instead of oppose them; and temperamental factors (e.g. zebras bite people); how long they take to mature (if slow, like elephants, it's too much work, and also takes longer to breed traits); and some other factors.

( He makes a strong argument that the large mammals that can easily be domesticated already have been: the last large mammal species to be domesticated occurred many thousands of years ago - subsequent efforts have failed (NB: that's for large mammals; small mammals such as foxes have been recently domesticated). And he has other valid arguments that I won't go into here. )

But the puzzling thing that he doesn't address is that Eurasia had a much higher *proportion* of domesticable animals than other regions (24% vs 5% vs 0%) before we started domesticating them.

So...why was it that Eurasia had a higher proportion of domesticable animals, in the first place?



Fri May 04, 2012 2:04 am
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Official Newbie!


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Zebras and Unhappy Marriages: A serious discussion, 2
To start things off, here's a theory (read: guess): large mammals in Eurasia become more "civilized", as far as animals go, having more complex "societies" that manage to co-exist without conflict (hierarchical, overlapping, temperament). These are very much "civilized" traits, in that they directly facilitate animals living at higher densities - which is how we ourselves live, in a civilization, and how we want our domesticable animals to live. Aggressive traits, such as head-butting in the mating season, are a waste of expensive resources.

A precondition for these to evolve is some benefit, which here is the advantage of numbers for protection, and greater numbers also enables them to spread and out-compete other species. Evolution also requires support for higher densities, which comes from Eurasia (particularly the Fertile Crescent) being fertile and able to support large numbers. Evolution is helped by time, numbers and diversity - the long east-west shape of Eurasia gives many habitats at similar latitudes, making a larger "test tube" for evolution; and the number of niches within that gives diversity. There's a coincidence here, that faster maturation enables faster evolution of these traits, which also is convenient for further evolution by us (i.e. domestication).

If this theory is correct, animals in other regions would tend to also evolve towards these herding traits and temperaments. i.e. I'm seeing it as a parallel to our own civilization (which we might well call our own "domestication" - *we* ourselves were a domesticable species).


EDIT: found an essay on point: http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/variables/zebra.html It claims that because zebras evolved alongside humans, they are wary of us; whereas large mammals in other regions were tame. This lead to the extinction of large mammals at human hands in Australia and America - why not in Eurasia too? This doesn't explain their generally antisocial behaviour, which is also directed to their herd-fellows, and not specifically reserved for human beings http://www.africa-wildlife-detective.com/zebras.html; and their wariness would be related to the many predators in Africa, not just humans.

IDEA: perhaps those herds in Eurasia were also in an expanding phase filling an empty habitat, rather than a crowded competitive arena like Africa? Like a business in a new field, it succeeds by telling people about it and getting them to try it; but in a mature industry, it's a nasty zero-sum game). I don't know if Eurasia *was* empty - except that at that time (13,000 BC), an ice age was just ending, opening and expanding ecological niches. Whatever animals could fill them fastest would win.



Fri May 04, 2012 2:30 am
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


Recent Posts 
• Naked Ambition: A Male Stripper’s True Account of Making Girls Behave Badly

Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:18 pm

stefandiamante

• The Depopulation Agenda - war on humanity

Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:19 am

DWill

• Seeking reviews for my adventure book called Truth Come to Light

Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:39 am

AuthorTaryn

• A Wintry Tale of Music, Adventure and Lost Love

Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:56 am

kl07-04

• promoting my ebook: Logic against Evolution

Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:28 am

person123

• The Coup against Donald Trump

Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:36 pm

KindaSkolarly

• Science Fiction Reviewers Needed - Okuda!: A Dryden Universe Corporate Wars Novel

Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:06 pm

BookBuzz

• The Galaxy Series by Renee Steffan

Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:28 am

Steffanrenee

• "That Feeling When You Know You're Doomed" is now $0.99 on Amazon until Dec. 10.

Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:17 am

JamesGBoswell

• "It’s 2039, and Your Beloved Books Are Dead"

Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:37 pm

LanDroid

• When Dreams Come to Pass volume 1 & 2 available for $1 each on Amazon in US

Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:59 am

Dave

• Seeking Reviewers - Contemporary Holiday Romance - Snowflake Wishes, Christmas Kisses

Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:51 pm

josette

• Seeking Reviews for the YA Romance Novel - Street Magic By Taylor S Seese

Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:50 pm

josette

• 173 Declared Democratic Presidential Candidates

Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:57 pm

KindaSkolarly

• Children's Book Reviewers Wanted - Meeting Kaia (Kaia the Fairy in the Garden)

Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:18 pm

AdrianvAuthor


Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank