Animal Domestication: An Introduction

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  1. I’m curious as to why domestication has those characteristics as a side-effect. I have read before that playfulness or displaying juvenile traits may be used to better communicate with humans. Why the reduction in brain size though?
    It is amazing how the domestication of animals has shaped human history.


  2. Darwin called these changes the ‘Domestication Syndrome’ and you see them almost all domesticated animals. Though exactly why all these changes occur still seems to be debated… I have seen a lot of people talk about a sort of domino effect where breeding for certain traits means effecting areas such as hormones which then effects other areas of the animal. I put a little about it in this post:

    Though looking it up again now I found a 2014 paper putting all if it down to ‘mild neural crest cell deficits’… Might try to write about it in more detail soon 🙂 Sorry not a great answer but it’s a big topic.


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