'Domesticated' explores how humans have altered animals | Science News

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'Domesticated' explores how humans have altered animals

Floppy ears and spots are just a few of the genetic changes that come with tameness

8:00am, April 5, 2015
Cave painting of aurochs

ANCIENT BEASTS  Aurochsthe ancestors of domestic cows, dominate this replica of a cave painting from Lascaux in southwestern France. How humans tamed these behemoths and brought them to the barnyard is one of the stories recounted in Domesticated.

Richard C. Francis
W.W. Norton & Co., $27.95

Docile dairy cows don’t inspire a lot of respect or awe. But Stone Age people must have had a different view of Bessie’s ancestors, the aurochs. Males could weigh 1.5 metric tons, and hunting the aggressive beasts was perilous.

The taming of the auroch probably began with rounding up those animals that would tolerate

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