5 Animals that Changed Humanity Forever

Humans have lived with animals for so long, and it’s hard to imagine there was a time when we didn’t have fur or feathered companions to help us somehow. Although the number varies depending on how you define “domestication”, science has identified 30-40 species either explicitly domesticated Or with whom we have established contact with, at least for our mutual benefit. Whatever the criteria, domestication was by no means a simple or linear process. It has happened in fits and starts over thousands of years, at different times and places all over the world.

But once domestication began, not only did we change the animals we introduced into our lives; They have changed us too. Without the help and support of pets to help us hunt, carry our burdens, provide food, materials for clothing, tools, and more. Here is a timeline of some of the most important creatures we have made a part of our lives.

Dogs (14,000-40,000 years ago)

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As this comprehensive range of thousands of years suggests, there are plenty of discussion About the time humans tried to domesticate dogs (or their wolves ancestors). but, zoologists And geneticists don’t argue that “man’s best friend” was also our first friend from the animal kingdom. The relationship some describe with a co-evolution Between two species, we started our days as hunter-gatherer nomads, before we started farming or building any kind of civilization. Useful for hunting, protection, pest control, and companionship, dogs may have given early humans evolution edge That allowed them to outsmart Neanderthals.

Read more: Dogs have evolved with humans like no other species

Goats (10,000-11,000 years ago)

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We’ve known them since they were kids! Seriously, goats and humans are going way back. Some researchers consider that goats may be first Species of livestock to be domesticated (sheep has also been contested for this role). Surely it is true that a file Oldest known Livestock DNA, found in Iran, dates back to goats and dates back to around 8200 BC, just as humans were transitioning from hunter-gatherers to farmer-herder.

Wild goats, rugged and well suited to diverse terrain, have evolved from the bezoar ibex and proved amenable to early grazing and breeding efforts. Unlike dogs, goats provided a ready source of food (milk and meat) and other beneficial substances, including hair, skin, bones, and tendons for everything from clothing to tools. Even their droppings were on hand – their dung was fuel for burning.

Cattle (10,000 years ago)

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As humans settled, we reduced our hunting and farming, we gradually lured many of the beasts we know together with livestock into our control. Recent research has traced all livestock back to A small flock It was domesticated from the bull 10,500 years ago. Livestock provided a level of food security that we could not hope the fishermen could match. When they are not feeding us (or providing us with skin), they can also plow our fields and our freight wagon. Thus the lamb monster was born.

Horses (6000 years ago)

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If history had gone a little differently, or some early daredevil had other ideas about jumping on one’s back, today’s horses may be considered livestock rather than the noblest of cattle. We know from cave art dating back 30,000 years that the first relationship between man and horse was that of predator and prey. Wild horses were hunted for food. Early domestication efforts, usually attributed to people living in Western Eurasian steppe, intent on the same mission, to provide ready supplies of meat and milk to human caregivers. But the evidence suggests that humans also viewed horses as more than a source of food or a beast of burden.

archaeological research Signs of the use of bridle thongs – primitive harness straps – appeared on horses 5,500 years ago, suggesting that mighty horses were stocked with horses. A horse’s strength and speed will eventually provide humanity advantages that even a loyal dog can’t bring us. Horses allowed greatly expanded opportunities for transportation, trade, communications, and, unfortunately, war. When it comes to the pivotal human-animal relationships, almost nothing beats a horse. naturally.

Cats (4,000 years ago)

Coffin of the cat crown prince Thutmose, the eldest son of Amenhotep III and Queen T. (Credit: Larazoni/CC-by-2.0/Wikimedia Commons)

It should come as no surprise to any cat owner that our feline friends would be the last time on this list to join humanity in domestic bliss. If it was possible to get one for the record, the cats would argue about it Start has been domesticated. They certainly weren’t when we first met them, nor for centuries after that.

a DNA scanning From the last 9,000 years or so of cats (wild and tamed) indicate that cats have lived near humans for centuries without actually being domesticated. Instead, enjoy the mutual benefit Link With us. Wild cats would have been attracted to humans because our early agricultural efforts generated resources and waste. Food and litter attract insects, and insects attract cats. In the end, we dignified them, take them travelAnd brought them to our homes for companionship. The earliest evidence that cats have become a house Cats come from an Egyptian art dating back 4000 years.

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