The Mysterious Origins of Cat Domestication in China

Researchers studying a 5,000-year-old archaeological site in China have discovered that wildcats first came to ancient villages to feed on rodents, which were stealing farmers' grains. The research shows, for the first time, how the process of cat domestication started. » 12/16/13 12:00pm 12/16/13 12:00pm

When cats are outlawed, what animals should replace them as pets?

We have learned that cats appear to be environmental murderizers. Some people even want to ban them as pets. Let's say we have to do that for the sake of the Earth. What local, replacement pets would make good replacements for domesticated cats? Here are a few good ideas. » 2/21/13 1:00pm 2/21/13 1:00pm

Friendly dolphins help Brazilian fishermen to catch fish

We think of dolphins as playful — but they may also be more cunning than we ever realized. A subset of the dolphin population in Laguna, Brazil has started cooperating with human fishing expeditions. The dolphins will help people get better catches, in return for whatever the fisherman discard. They'll drive schools of … » 5/04/12 6:30am 5/04/12 6:30am

Fish hatcheries super-charge the speed of evolution

When we domesticate animals, we alter their evolutionary development to favor the traits that we find most desirable. Usually, that process takes hundreds, even thousands of years. But fish hatcheries can scramble a species' genetics in a single generation. » 12/19/11 2:30pm 12/19/11 2:30pm

Why some animals can never be domesticated

Dogs, sheep, pigs, cows, horses - all these animals and more have been fundamentally changed by humans to make our lives better. Domestication has fundamentally altered the course of human history, reshaping the land and other species to fit our new agricultural lifestyle. But how do you take a wild species and turn… » 2/09/11 1:48pm 2/09/11 1:48pm