Domestication in English


The word that concerns us now we can establish that it derives from domesticate, which is a verb that comes from Latin, exactly from domesticus, which means “related to the house”.

Domestication is called the act and the consequence of domesticating: getting a wild or ferocious animal to moderate its temperament and get used to living with humans.

Through domestication, there is a modification of the behavioral, physiological and morphological characters of a species. These characters, which are inherited, arise from adaptive natural selection or artificial selection promoted by man. In general, domestication seeks to make animals useful to people, although the process can also be carried out spontaneously if it brings benefits to both the human being and the animal.

Domestication favored the development of livestock.

Domestication according to Zeuner

Over time, much has been said about domestication. However, one of the most important scholars on the subject was FE Zeuner who, in the 1960s, determined that this process consists of several phases:

-In the first, the control of man over the animal is very weak since so is the union between the two.

-In the second, the human being is already beginning to be able to control the reproduction of animals.

-In the third, the man returns to cross what are the wild forms with the domestic ones.

-In the fourth, man controls production animals and there is a clear interest in products of animal origin.

-In the fifth, a control is carried out on the wild species.

Beekeeping became possible after the domestication of the bee.

Origins of these processes

The first domestication of species took place during the Neolithic period. By then, Homo sapiens became sedentary, abandoning the nomadic life. Key to this change was the development of livestock and agriculture as a method of subsistence instead of gathering, fishing and hunting.

By creating crops and developing livestock activities, man began to domesticate various animal and plant species. At first, it was difficult for humans to control animals and wild forms remained in force. However, with the passage of time, it was possible to exercise control over animal reproduction and thus the most beneficial characteristics for humanity were selected.

Domestication of insects and plants

Many are the types of animals that have been targets of domestication. However, among the most significant are bees.

In addition, the existence of what is known as the domestication of plants should not be overlooked, which had its origin in Mesopotamia and was carried out with the clear objective of being able to control these living beings in favor of fundamental areas for the life of the human being such as food and even medicine.

Differences with dressage

It is important to differentiate between domestication, which encompasses animal populations and involves subjecting them to a dependency relationship to eliminate their wild state, and taming, exercised on individuals to tame them.

A tiger can be tamed, but its species was not domesticated: the tiger therefore remains a wild animal.