Numerous animals have been domesticated by humans for millennia here to provide us meat, milk, wool and companionship. They therefore play an essential role in our consumer society. But where do they come from? Since when have they been accurately captured and bred?
Erin Wayman recently made a synthesis of knowledge accumulated about it on his blog site of Smithsonian magazine. Let us return more detail about the history of our main pets and livestock.
Our company four-legged friends
The oldest fossil traces of dog domestication, actually gray wolves were found in Belgium and Siberia. They both date from over 30,000 years. However, modern domestic canids do not descend from ancestors, according to a genetic study conducted in 2010, but wolves that lived in the Middle East. The first breeding traces date back only a few thousand years. They concern the chow chow, Shar pei, Siberian husky and greyhound Afghan. According to Erin Wayman, most other breeds of Canis lupus familiaris would be high since the Victorian era, the nineteenth century.
The conquest of the world by cats, Felis silvestris catus, is relatively well known. This animal was domesticated in the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years here. He would simply started attending human dwellings to find food (mice, for example). Traces of their presence have been found in Cyprus, where it was probably imported by humans, nearly 500 years after its domestication. Old teeth than 4,000 years have been found in Pakistan. Egypt has revered the animal appeared for the first time in artistic performances here 3,600 years. Traders would have then taken in Greece and in the Roman Empire. It has colonized Europe 2,000 years ago but it could have taken up residence in Asia at the same time. Finally, cats were taken to America and Australia by browsers here respectively 500 and 400 years.
A recent genetic study has managed to position the origin of domestic horses, Equus caballus, western Eurasian steppes. The oldest fossil evidence, a tooth having typical features associated with the use of clamps, dates back to 5500 years. She was found in Kazakhstan within the Botoi prehistoric camp, a plot of 15 hectares on the banks of the Iman-Burluk river. mare milk traces were also detected within vessels found at the site.
Origins of our main livestock
Our current dairy cow, Bos taurus, also come from the Fertile Crescent. Their ancestors were wild aurochs drawn here 10,000 years. According to a recent study, only 80 specimens were behind all the high to date cattle for their milk. European aurochs would have enriched the genetic diversity of the species when importing cows from the Middle East, much later. The zebu cattle adapted to the tropics, would in turn originate in the Indus Valley in India.
France had about 19 million cows in 2006. & nbsp; © camsouille, Flickr, CC by-nd 2.0
France had about 19 million cows in 2006. © camsouille, Flickr, CC by-nd 2.0
The oldest archaeological evidence of the domestication of wild boar, the ancestor of the pig were found in Cyprus and would date from about 11,400 to 11,700 years. However, as pointed Erin Wayman, this animal had to be brought to the island by men who were already raising before. The first European pigs have arrived with migrant farmers from the Middle East, where they were brought here 9,000 years. They were then gradually replaced by Sus scrofa domesticus pigs from the domestication of local wild boar.
The Ovis Aries sheep farming have begun 11,000 years ago. The goal originally was to produce meat, because the wool is used for 5,000 years. This animal was also reportedly captured by humans in the Fertile Crescent. Current strains nevertheless come from five different genetic lines, thus proving that it was domesticated several times from the same wild ancestor.
Finally, most elevated goat today, Capra hircus, would be from two distinct genetic lineages, betraying two domestication events. The first took place in south-eastern Turkey here 10,500 years. Eighty-five percent of goats producing milk today are from that country. The second domestication event has meanwhile produced in the mountains of Zagros here 10,000 years.