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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazymancer View Post
    I'm glad nobody is impaling people for riding moose.


    AFAIK Soviet domestication projects begun post-WW2.


    It was hussars who (according to sensationalist media) charged German tanks. I.e. Poland, not Soviets. Either way it never happened.

    What were you even reading? Encyclopedia of historical misconceptions and hoaxes? Or just wikipedia? It's more of a place to exchange gossips, rather than a trustworthy source of information, in case you didn't know.
    You know what "attach" means, right? It's different from "attack". I am not correcting what I have stated, I am just making it clearer because at first you just seemed incredulous, now you still seem incredulous, but mostly confused.

    A chronology:

    XVI century: Ivan the Terrible sent the Cossack Yermak Timofeyevich to conquer the Khanate of Sibir. People from Sibir rode moose. During the conquest, Yermak forbade moose breeding and killed those who disobeyed.
    XVI-XVIII centuries: Yakut tribes swap from elk breeding to reindeer breeding.
    XVIII century: The Swedes try using moose for military purpose.
    1930s: The Soviet try to train elks for battle. This occurred before the elk farms of Pechora, first elk born in 1943 or 1949, depending on source, and Kostroma, established in 1963, were founded.
    1941: Soviet-German war. Both countries use an enormous number of horses. Because tanks run faster than people, but need soldiers nearby to be useful, Soviet soldiers are put on horses to accompany tanks (cavalry-mechanized group).

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavarian itP View Post
    Who are you to make that judgement? Nowadays, every history professor in the world is going to point you to wikipedia if you want information about a historical event.
    I highly doubt that. Wikipedia is quite decent on the sciences, good enough on more obscure historical subjects, and acceptable on pop culture. On any area where there is widespread historical interest, however, Wikipedia's editorial policies (which place the most excrebly researched pophist work and the most painstaking academic work on the same level of notability) and open editing policies means that Wikipedia makes the History Channel look like a bastion of academic integrity.

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Swedish moose cavalry had a number of problems. The first problem was that moose scare horses, so that various cities in the Baltic forbade moose from entering. The second problem was that moose were scared of gunfire, and would run away towards the forest when the battle started.
    Huh. Didnt Camels have similar issues? Minus the gunshy issue anyway.
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    XVI century: Ivan the Terrible sent the Cossack Yermak Timofeyevich to conquer the Khanate of Sibir. People from Sibir rode moose. During the conquest, Yermak forbade moose breeding and killed those who disobeyed.
    You are inventing things.

    People from Sibir rode horses (primarily, at least). There had been multiple documented battles with horsemen and no moose cavalry was ever mentioned.
    Spoiler: Or even pictured
    Show


    Rus had no logistics to oversee such a territory. Cossack control primarily meant "yasak" - making local tribes pay yearly tax in furs. Usually, by taking hostages, since cossacks had problems finding people in the goddamn Siberia. Because it's big.

    And that's it. And that was later. Making it happen during Yermak's expedition makes things surreal. He led the first (failed) expedition, his forces were too small (you can't occupy Siberia with 840 men; especially when facing ~10 thousand local militiamen).

    Also, Ivan IV did not actually send Yermak to conquer anything. He was informed postfactum and was initially annoyed (until Yermak started sending furs).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    1930s: The Soviet try to train elks for battle. This occurred before the elk farms of Pechora, first elk born in 1943 or 1949, depending on source, and Kostroma, established in 1963, were founded.
    So, the first elk was born in 40s, but its military training begun in 1930s? Mad Science, indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    1941: Soviet-German war. Both countries use an enormous number of horses. Because tanks run faster than people, but need soldiers nearby to be useful, Soviet soldiers are put on horses to accompany tanks (cavalry-mechanized group).
    For the love of God, Montresor...

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazymancer View Post
    IIRC that was Karl XI (Sweden).
    This is a 19th century myth nothing more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Swedish moose cavalry had a number of problems. The first problem was that moose scare horses, so that various cities in the Baltic forbade moose from entering. The second problem was that moose were scared of gunfire, and would run away towards the forest when the battle started.
    The main problem being that it has never existed. It's a myth sprung out of the 19th century attempts to domesticate elk. As noted by Swedihs historian **** Harrison here (unfortunately his surname is starred in English)
    Seeing as no such thing ever existed none of this makes a lot of sense. Also if you check what horse owners say about horses being scared of elk it seems to vary form case to case, I see as many saying they are afraid as hwo say their horses don't care (or are enthusiastic about their new friend the big horse with horns).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    XVIII century: The Swedes try using moose for military purpose.
    This is the only part which is actually true. They were thinking about it but couldn't get it to work.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2017-06-16 at 06:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    This is a 19th century myth nothing more.
    Swedish historiography strikes again. And even apocryphal ban of the moose-riding is mentioned. I vaguely remembered it had something to do with Sweden/Finland, but couldn't remember specifics. Is this described somewhere in more detail?

    Spoiler: Also, the dreaded charge of the moose cavalry:
    Show
    Well, reindeer cavalry. But close enough.

    In this picture, King Tegillus of the 'sliding Finns' drives on his troops on skis and on the backs of reindeer forward along with Agrimus of Denmark and his army. The young soldier, Agrimus, wishes the daughter of the Danish king to be his spouse. By showing his bravery in order to win the favour of the king, he has left to battle against the people of Bjarm and the sliding Finns, as they are the last savage tribes who have not been vanquished yet to become subordinate to the king. However, these savage forest-dwellers have tools of magic at their disposal, by which they are capable of restraining a superior foe. In fear that they will be defeated, they retreat and throw three stones behind them which at the same time grow as large as a mountain. It leads Agrimus astray and he is forced to call his troops back. During the battles of the following day, the forest-dwellers throw snow onto the ground and it immediately melts into a large body of water which Agrimus's troops are unable to cross. In a panic, Agrimus and his armies make a hasty retreat.

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    The main problem being that it has never existed. It's a myth sprung out of the 19th century attempts to domesticate elk. As noted by Swedihs historian **** Harrison here (unfortunately his surname is starred in English)
    Seeing as no such thing ever existed none of this makes a lot of sense. Also if you check what horse owners say about horses being scared of elk it seems to vary form case to case, I see as many saying they are afraid as hwo say their horses don't care (or are enthusiastic about their new friend the big horse with horns).
    Even if not all horses are scared, the fact that a consistent number is was probably reason enough for the ban to take place in Tartu (then called Dorpat), where the city council forbade moose from entering (XVIII century).
    As for the attempts at a Sweden Elk Cavalry, if the animals could't give up being cautious and running away from danger, the elks could not reach a state adequate for active deployment - this is the explanation given by one of the scholars who run the Kostroma Moose Farm. Another book simply said that the reasons why the project was abandoned are unknown.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazymancer View Post
    You are inventing things.

    People from Sibir rode horses (primarily, at least). There had been multiple documented battles with horsemen and no moose cavalry was ever mentioned.
    Spoiler: Or even pictured
    Show
    I did not deny that they rode horses (or anything else). They also rode moose, though. I did not write that Sibir had moose cavalry.

    Rus had no logistics to oversee such a territory. Cossack control primarily meant "yasak" - making local tribes pay yearly tax in furs. Usually, by taking hostages, since cossacks had problems finding people in the goddamn Siberia. Because it's big.

    And that's it. And that was later. Making it happen during Yermak's expedition makes things surreal. He led the first (failed) expedition, his forces were too small (you can't occupy Siberia with 840 men; especially when facing ~10 thousand local militiamen).

    Also, Ivan IV did not actually send Yermak to conquer anything. He was informed postfactum and was initially annoyed (until Yermak started sending furs).
    Interesting.


    So, the first elk was born in 40s, but its military training begun in 1930s? Mad Science, indeed.
    Different projects, different elks.

    For the love of God, Montresor...
    You so funny! But I don't get where the problem is.


    Apparently there is a II century Roman-Egyptian plaster of a moose being milked, but I couldn't find the image. Not that it would mean that it actually happened - lots of children drinking wolf milk in Rome otherwise - but people must have already found the idea interesting.

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Apparently there is a II century Roman-Egyptian plaster of a moose being milked, but I couldn't find the image. Not that it would mean that it actually happened - lots of children drinking wolf milk in Rome otherwise - but people must have already found the idea interesting.
    You can't milk, moose, silly! You can't catch moose, except by cutting into trees, so when it leans against the tree to sleep it falls down and can't get up anymore (y'know, because they don't have joints). You can't milk a moose that has fallen down, of course. How would that work?
    So no moose milk for the romans, sorry. Source: Caesar. And later Plinius, though I'm sure he just stole it from Caesar.
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Even if not all horses are scared, the fact that a consistent number is was probably reason enough for the ban to take place in Tartu (then called Dorpat), where the city council forbade moose from entering (XVIII century).
    As for the attempts at a Sweden Elk Cavalry, if the animals could't give up being cautious and running away from danger, the elks could not reach a state adequate for active deployment - this is the explanation given by one of the scholars who run the Kostroma Moose Farm. Another book simply said that the reasons why the project was abandoned are unknown.



    I did not deny that they rode horses (or anything else). They also rode moose, though. I did not write that Sibir had moose cavalry.



    Interesting.




    Different projects, different elks.



    You so funny! But I don't get where the problem is.


    Apparently there is a II century Roman-Egyptian plaster of a moose being milked, but I couldn't find the image. Not that it would mean that it actually happened - lots of children drinking wolf milk in Rome otherwise - but people must have already found the idea interesting.
    Do you have any actual sources for your claims? This is turning in to a playground argument and, frankly, I didn't like those when I was 7, much less 2 decades later.
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    As I understand it, the Russian forces included horse-mounted "cavalry", but the horses were only used for transportation. The troops dismounted and fought as infantry once the enemy was in range.
    The term typically used to describe this tactical use is 'mounted infantry'. Depending on the time period, dragoon may also be applicable (at their inception, they were intended to be mounted infantry but eventually developed into medium cavalry).

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Biologically speaking wolves and dogs are the same species. They can breed between each other and produce fertile offspring.

    It's no different from humans who can have different sizes, being less or more hairy/muscled/tall/short, and different hair/skin/eye colors. Except dogs have been exposed to the longest selective breeding in the history of humanity.

    As for why we don't go around domesticating everything, is also a matter of logistics. Wolves already had a nice pack mentality and willingness to follow a leader, and you can feed them mostly with the bones and cartilage that humans would normally just throw away. That's most probably how wolves started to being domesticated, they would follow human groups around to munch on all the delicious bones that would be left behind.

    Similarly cats will feed on those nasty pesky rats which are an huge nuissance to humans, and the humans will chase away any bigger predators. Another win-win scenario!

    Another domesticated predator are certain falcons, although only nobles and dedicated hunters could afford those.

    Now something like a lion demands fresh meat, and lots of it, meaning pretty much every civilization decided they weren't worth the effort unless you wanted something exotic like a circus.

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post
    Another domesticated predator are certain falcons, although only nobles and dedicated hunters could afford those.
    Tamed and trained, not domesticated - to qualify as domesticated, the creature needs to be a bit different from the wild one thanks to selective breeding.

    Cheetahs were the same- probably because they were very hard to breed in captivity.
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Do you have any actual sources for your claims? This is turning in to a playground argument and, frankly, I didn't like those when I was 7, much less 2 decades later.
    Here, have some links:

    http://www.moose-farm.ru/e010.htm The website of the Kostroma Farm
    You can find a BBC article from 2004 recounting how the elk project began with a military application in mind: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3557085.stm (still the words of one of the people working at one of the farms)
    Various recounts: https://books.google.it/books?id=bcW...yermak&f=false
    Origin of my screw-up about Ivan the Terrible sending Yermak: https://books.google.it/books?id=mSm...0moose&f=false
    Cavalry-Mechanized Group: Pliyev (of later Cuban Missile Crisis fame) e.g. led a few of these, in Ukraine and the Transbajkal Front. They are named a lot in books about Soviet action in WW2. They were a different thing from US Mechanized Cavalry Groups (which were mechanized cavalry, tanks). The Russian name was 'Konno-Mekhanizirovannaya Gruppa' (KMG). "Group" designated a unit composed of different corps with one HQ. For example, one of Pliyev's groups comprised cavalry, tanks and self-propelled guns. The cavalry units however normally fought on foot (outside of exceptional conditions or exceptional mismanagement), and horses were used for mobility purposes. There are really a lot of references to this. You can look up "Cavalry-Mechanized Group" on Google books, or the Russian name if you read Russian (I don't).
    https://books.google.it/books?id=heQ...0Group&f=false
    https://books.google.it/books?id=BKS...0group&f=false
    The Concise Encyclopedia of World War II, 2010, p. 635
    http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ntcombat/index.html (for general interest about Soviet cavalry)

    In general about a lot of German and Soviet horses being used for logistics in WW2, that's very easy information to catch reading survivor's memoirs or talking with them. There very often are beasts of burden in their recollections. More generally:
    https://books.google.it/books?id=CL3...istics&f=false

    With this, I consider my contribution to the discussion of the subject "Horsesies in World War 2" closed, for good or for bad, at least within this thread, simply because it's OT and has already taken enough room.

    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post

    Now something like a lion demands fresh meat, and lots of it, meaning pretty much every civilization decided they weren't worth the effort unless you wanted something exotic like a circus.
    Are circus lions actually domesticated? I mean, I guess that they have to come from somewhere, and I wonder how long the lineage can go, and if there is a selection based on character.

    I read there is an interesting reason why stoats (mustela erminea) are difficult to domesticate. After copulation, females don't conceive immediately, and can retard conception until they are in the right conditions. So catching a female stoat after the love season doesn't mean that she will actually make cubs for you to rear personally.

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Here, have some links:

    Are circus lions actually domesticated? I mean, I guess that they have to come from somewhere, and I wonder how long the lineage can go, and if there is a selection based on character.
    I doubt it. I suspect if you were willing to breed (and cull) as many lions as the Russian experimenter (Dmitry Belyayev) went through foxes, you might have a "domesticated lion" in the end. I suspect you wouldn't, as there almost certainly would be a few attempts long before that, and there have been no known successful breeding programs.

    Lions, at least, are social animals. So there might be a chance. Also I'd assume that all previous attempts were to breed a "guard cat". Perhaps a "performing cat" would work better. Certainly if a circus was breeding their own lions, they wouldn't hesitate to put down any cat the lion train wouldn't stick his head in it's mouth.

    Note that all "white tigers" have been domestically bread from a single tiger born in Victorian times (from vague memory of a sign at a zoo saying why the white tiger won't be bred). So presumably there is a tiger breeding program, but with no attempts at domestication (presumably they don't have much faith in wild tigers and the people in charge of their habitats).

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazymancer View Post
    Swedish historiography strikes again. And even apocryphal ban of the moose-riding is mentioned. I vaguely remembered it had something to do with Sweden/Finland, but couldn't remember specifics. Is this described somewhere in more detail?
    The link in the post you quote has a Swedish historian explaining in brief the myths about elk cavalry in Sweden. If you read Swedish.

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Who says humans haven't domesticated all of those things? Domestication implies breeding to the extent that the domesticated species is noticeably different from the wild type. Strictly speaking, we didn't domesticate dogs, we domesticated a mutual ancestor of modern wolves and modern dogs that--we believe--was wolf-like enough to also call wolves.

    So I guess the question is, how far back (in either time or genetic change) do we have to go before it counts? Or do we measure instead by when the domestication began (i.e., it only counts as domesticating a lion if the most recent common ancestor of cats and lions lived roughly about the time we started taming and then controlling the breeding of some pre-housecat feline?)

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    The question I'd be mildly interested in is, why don't we try doing it now? Several of these species are heavily endangered, this might be a way to help keep them from going completely to extinction.
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Having "just" come across the original picture since seeing this thread, I had to post a link to it:
    http://blogs.harvard.edu/houghton/20...-rode-a-moose/

    [Back in 1912 somebody faked a picture of Teddy Roosevelt riding a moose in the water. As far as I know it is quite possible to do so, but not getting off before it gets sufficiently out of the water tends to be lethal. Also not sure if the photography was good enough in 1912 to get the picture off quick enough to get on and off the moose.]

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    Who says humans haven't domesticated all of those things? Domestication implies breeding to the extent that the domesticated species is noticeably different from the wild type. Strictly speaking, we didn't domesticate dogs, we domesticated a mutual ancestor of modern wolves and modern dogs that--we believe--was wolf-like enough to also call wolves.
    Or rather "We domesticated wolves. The resulting domesticated wolves, we choose to call dogs"

    When the domestication began, is a good start.

    So, given that the African Wildcat was already distinct enough from other wildcat subspecies to be a subspecies of its own when domestication began on it, we could say:

    "We domesticated the African Wildcat. These domesticated wildcats are what we have in our homes today. However, since we didn't domesticate them all, some survive to this day - so the African Wildcat and the Domestic Cat, both exist"

    Similarly:

    "We domesticated the Rock Dove. We call them Domestic Pigeons (or Feral Pigeons) now, after domestication. However, Rock Doves still exist."


    These are two examples of many (wolves are a little unusual in the subspecies that was domesticated, being long extinct in the wild).
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Or rather "We domesticated wolves. The resulting domesticated wolves, we choose to call dogs"

    When the domestication began, is a good start.

    So, given that the African Wildcat was already distinct enough from other wildcat subspecies to be a subspecies of its own when domestication began on it, we could say:

    "We domesticated the African Wildcat. These domesticated wildcats are what we have in our homes today. However, since we didn't domesticate them all, some survive to this day - so the African Wildcat and the Domestic Cat, both exist"

    Similarly:

    "We domesticated the Rock Dove. We call them Domestic Pigeons (or Feral Pigeons) now, after domestication. However, Rock Doves still exist."


    These are two examples of many (wolves are a little unusual in the subspecies that was domesticated, being long extinct in the wild).
    The wild beef-critter is also extinct. The last one was killed in 1650 or so in Poland.
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Aurochs are also gone, and wild horses aren't doing very well; the tarpan, which was supposed to be the undomesticated horse from which the domesticated kind came, is now gone.

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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Aurochs are also gone, and wild horses aren't doing very well; the tarpan, which was supposed to be the undomesticated horse from which the domesticated kind came, is now gone.
    Przewalski's Horse is still around - but it's more of a sister subspecies.

    The above extinctions are also fairly recent. Whereas the wild ancestor of the domestic dog, may have become extinct thousands of years ago (difficult to tell for certain).
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    I do have to wonder if cultural reasons aren't present. Hyenas sometimes have a more positive reputation, but rarely do outside of Africa and were for a long time, seen as stupid scavengers. Wikipedia also claims that the Striped Hyena can be easily tamed, but it also claims they are stinky.

    There is also the issue that I think wolves are far less likely to prey on human children then lions, through I am not 100% sure of that fact. This explains why I don't think many would want a lion around...
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    @snowblizz: I meant, something besides this brief mention. I'd like to track down quote (by Olaus Magnus, I think) about Swedish king forbidding moose-riding.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Here, have some links:
    Well, I'm happy to say I was wrong about moose: Kostroma site had this old book (in Russian) and it gives brief overview of moose domestication. There were 2 small moose farms (24 and 12 moose) in USSR by 1941. One succeeded at having first calf born in 1939, the second - some time "during war" (i.e. post-1941). Apparently, both were abandoned when their territories were occupied during war and neither was restored (which explains why everything started from scratch after the war).

    Additionally, book also mentions two attempts at moose breeding in 19th century Russia - with 8 and 14 moose born. Also, author places the time when people stopped using moose in Siberia to be around VI-X centuries. He isn't certain about the reason, but suggests possibility of invaders either wiping out moose-herding tribes or displacing them to the north, where moose-breeding was no longer effective.


    P.s. I obviously must point out that there is no factual evidence of secret moose husbandries existing anywhere and I'm not wearing my tinfoil hat to start trusting stories that originate from one source only - Kostroma farm. They seem very ... politicial out there. What's wrong (or inherently Communist) with moose being useful?

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Since there seems to be some confusion about cat domestication, a link to recent article:
    The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world
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    Quote Originally Posted by some quotes from article
    Here we show ... that both the Near Eastern and Egyptian populations of Felis silvestris lybica contributed to the gene pool of the domestic cat at different historical times. While the cat’s worldwide conquest began during the Neolithic period in the Near East, its dispersal gained momentum during the Classical period, when the Egyptian cat successfully spread throughout the Old World. The expansion patterns and ranges suggest dispersal along human maritime and terrestrial routes of trade and connectivity. A coat-colour variant was found at high frequency only after the Middle Ages, suggesting that directed breeding of cats occurred later than with most other domesticated animals. ...

    Wildcats (Felis silvestris) are distributed all over the Old World. Current taxonomy distinguishes five wild, geographically partitioned subspecies: Felis silvestris silvestris, Felis silvestris lybica, Felis silvestris ornata, Felis silvestris cafra and Felis silvestris bieti. Modern genetic data analyses of nuclear short tandem repeats (STR) and 16% of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome in extant wild and domestic cats revealed that only one of them, the north African/southwest Asian F. s. lybica, was ultimately domesticated ...

    Throughout this period of commensal interaction, tamed and domestic cats became feral and/or intermixed with wild F. s. lybica or other wild subspecies as is common today. These regular genetic exchanges may have contributed to the low level of differentiation observed between modern wild and domestic cat genome sequences. Accordingly, the domestication process seemingly has not profoundly altered the morphological, physiological, behavioural and ecological features of cats, in contrast to what has been observed, for example, for dogs. ...


    A complete skeleton found in Cyprus in association with a human burial dated to around 7500 BC suggests that cats were probably tamed by early Neolithic sedentary communities that had been growing cereals in SWA, concomitant with the emergence of commensal rodents. Similarly, the skeletons of six cats in an elite Predynastic cemetery in Egypt, around 3700 BC, may suggest a close cat–human relationship in early ancient Egypt. ...

    We show that, despite a local ban on cat trading being imposed in Egypt as early as 1700 BC, cats carrying IV-C mtDNA spread to most of the Old World. The increasing popularity of cats among Mediterranean cultures and particularly their usefulness on ships infested with rodents and other pests presumably triggered their dispersal across the Mediterranean. Indeed, depictions of cats in domestic contexts, already frequent during the New Kingdom in Egypt around 1500 BC (‘cat under the chair’, Fig. 2), are found on Greek artifacts from as early as the end of the 6th century BC (Supplementary Methods).

    North of the Alps, domestic cats appeared soon after the Roman conquest, yet remained absent outside the Roman territory until Late Antiquity. In medieval times it was compulsory for seafarers to have cats onboard their ships, leading to their dispersal across routes of trade and warfare. This evidence explains, for example, the presence of the Egyptian lineage IV-C1 at the Viking port of Ralswiek (7–11th century AD)
    I'll only add that pre-WW2 identification of Ralswiek as a "Viking port" is disputed (to put it mildly) by modern scholars.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by ImNotTrevor View Post
    I'm fairly certain that, by definition, cats are not domesticated because we don't actively use them for anything except companionship. The fact that they kill mice sometimes is a side benefit, and likely unrelated to why humans got along with them in the first place. (We just thought they were fluffy. I pity the aliens that will one day have to comprehend why on earth we had people like Seigfried and Roy who kept thousand pound apex predators in their house and gave them kissies)
    You are almost completely backwards, cats were kept in barns and granaries long before they were kept and cuddled and pampered the way they are today. Sometimes you'll still find people that keep barn cats.

    Edit: As far as the others, it's because they're larger and more dangerous than wolves. (With the exception of Mongeese, who are occasionally domesticated at least to the same level as ferrets are). If an animal is big and dangerous they are more likely to cause harm if you breed two together that produces an aggressive mix.
    Last edited by AMFV; 2017-06-21 at 12:47 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    There is also the issue that I think wolves are far less likely to prey on human children then lions, through I am not 100% sure of that fact.
    I wouldn't be surprised if it were true by some metric, just because there are a few different ways to measure it. We've basically exterminated all the wolves living near our population centers, whereas lions still live in substantial numbers near human settlements in Africa. It's plausible lions make more kills simply because of numbers and proximity, and not necessarily because of preference or ability.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Well, considering some Russian guy selectively bred foxes that were friendly to humans to create a domesticated version of the original species, it might be plausible. Though that was a work of 50 years of breeding foxes, which are canines and therefore rather fast adaptors. German Shepherds aren't even 200+ years old as a breed. Here's another link on the matter.
    Last edited by Mikemical; 2017-06-21 at 02:57 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    As has been noted above, mongooses are insectivores and both lions and hyenas are carnivores; for them to be as domesticated as dogs now, early people would have had to start catching them back when their care and feeding would have required untenable amounts of high-calorie human-edible food. Dogs can at least partially eat grain, and they've gotten a lot better at it with time.

    At the same time, there are significant problems with keeping a breeding population of any of them going. Lions and mongooses have something of an infanticide and infighting problem from the point of view of early people who want lots of them, while hyenas have anatomical issues with giving birth that involve open wounds and the concomitant risk of infection by zoonotic pathogens for which early human settlements are an ideal breeding ground. Domesticated animals are far more fecund, which helped them survive the messy process of domestication and also ensured that the people raising them had plenty of stock from which to select breeding pairs.

    Then, too, their social structures aren't ideal. Lion prides hemorrhage lions, particularly male lions; hyenas aren't so much cooperative as competitive. Mongooses are fuzzy little rodent/insect death machines whose groups split and reform with irksome frequency. Unlike, say, dogs or horses or cows or sheep, there's no easy way to get all the lions in a group to do a thing because some early person told them to and keep that going for longer than the lifetime of the individuals involved -- and this is assuming they don't maul their handlers for trying.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: Why haven't humans domesticated hyenas, lions, or banded mongeese?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazymancer View Post
    @snowblizz: I meant, something besides this brief mention. I'd like to track down quote (by Olaus Magnus, I think) about Swedish king forbidding moose-riding.
    Thing is, yes Olaus Magnus wrote that, but he was also doing a total asspull on that, as with so many other things from his (propaganda) book (to make Scandinavia sound more interesting and important to the pope so he'd come and chase the protestants away). No medieval Swedish laws exist to forbid riding elks. As historian **** Harrison notes.

    You can ofc try and find the original quote in the original text (I don't do latin but looking at WikiP I think you'll want book 18) but like I say, there's no corroboration in the written source to his claim, ie the medieval laws, and no serious historian accepts more than a fraction of his writings as anything but an interesting insight into what people incorrectly thought and as being one of the first to cover a region largely unknown to the european public at the time.

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