PDA

View Full Version : Ursus Americanus Familiaris


dogjones
8th November 2010, 06:56 AM
So apparently bears are hanging around humanity quite a bit now (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/07/grizzly-bear-lifestyle-human-contact), which is making them fat and lazy and also endangering them rather.

I believe the prevailing theory of how dogs were domesticated tells a rather similar story - wolves started hanging around human camps eating our garbage, wolf/human contact got closer and closer as was mutually beneficial, and eventually got close enough for selective breeding to come into play, creating the modern dog.

Of course our modern society is markedly different from the hunter-gatherer camps that this process would have happened in - bears appear to be more of a pest than a benefit (apart from the thrill of seeing them). Wolves are also possibly more predisposed to domestication because of their pack mentality.

Nonetheless I wonder if a species of "bogs" could ever emerge from bear/human contact.

How many generations would it take? And what would they look like? (Belyaev's experiments with foxes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox) of course spring to mind.) Really big furry dogs with the added ability of climbing trees - cool! The "bog"/cat power balance would be totally thrown out of whack - cats would be screwed. Or actually, perhaps there would be just lots of scratched bog noses.

Or they could be more like cats. Or something totally different. I wonder what kind of bearish behaviours would be amplified amusingly, endearingly or usefully (to humans) in a bog.

Happy Monday!

Gawdzilla
8th November 2010, 06:59 AM
I suspect they're more opportunistic than they are heading down the trail to domestication. They cluster at food sources regardless of the source, c.f. the grizzlies at the annual salmon run.

dogjones
8th November 2010, 07:03 AM
I suspect they're more opportunistic than they are heading down the trail to domestication. They cluster at food sources regardless of the source, c.f. the grizzlies at the annual salmon run.

Oh, sure. Just playing with the idea, zall.

Mark6
8th November 2010, 07:08 AM
I suspect they're more opportunistic than they are heading down the trail to domestication. They cluster at food sources regardless of the source, c.f. the grizzlies at the annual salmon run.
The difference is, bears who are somehow destructive to salmon run do not get shot. Bears destructive to THIS food source do. Selective pressure exists, but I am not sure what it will lead to.

Gawdzilla
8th November 2010, 07:08 AM
Oh, sure. Just playing with the idea, zall.

Understood, just tossing out my view on the larger issue. I volunteer at the Endangered Wolf Center (endangeredwolfcenter.org) and we stress that wild animals are wild and should be considered in that light.

If you want an animal that would be more interesting and quite possibly heading down the domestic path, look at tigers.

dogjones
8th November 2010, 07:43 AM
Understood, just tossing out my view on the larger issue. I volunteer at the Endangered Wolf Center (endangeredwolfcenter.org) and we stress that wild animals are wild and should be considered in that light.

If you want an animal that would be more interesting and quite possibly heading down the domestic path, look at tigers.

Do tell?

Gawdzilla
8th November 2010, 07:46 AM
Do tell?

Breed quite well in captivity. Willing to forgo hunting for "play time" (stalk and capture, but not kill). Accept humans as the dominant.

Plus if we keep playing with ligers and tigons, etc., we might find a type that won't eat their humans if they get angry.