Cats were thought to have first been domesticated in ancient Egypt, where they were kept some 4,000 years ago, but more recent research suggests close relations with humans may have occurred much earlier, including the discovery of a wild cat buried with a human nearly 10,000 years ago in Cyprus.
My comment: Ecological variation results in the de novo creation of teeth in predatory nematodes. The difference between “grazers” and “predators” results from nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological, social, and neurogenic niche construction. With increased organismal complexity these differences in nutrient-dependent niche construction lead to differences in socio-cognitive niche construction, which are exemplified by similarities and differences in the epigenetic effects of food odors and pheromones in honeybees and humans.
Ecological variation and differences in diet between wolves and dogs can be used to explain domestication of dogs and cats. For example, differences in starch digestion alter development linked to initial explorations by wolf pups while they are still blind. Exploration begins only two weeks later in dogs, after they have developed more visual acuity.
Visual acuity associated with dietary differences and olfactory/pheromonal input during postnatal brain development helps dogs and cats bond with their human handlers in a way that is not genetically predisposed to occur in wolf pups even if they are hand raised. The startle response in wolf pups is still linked directly to olfactory input by their experience in the first few weeks after they are born. They are predisposed — like feral cats — to exhibit “wild” behaviors in response to threatening “visual” input. Most “wild” animals (e.g., lions, tigers, and bears) are not easily startled by humans, but problems associated with domestication show up in the reporting of tragedies linked to biting behavior of animals that pet owners typically think are fully domesticated.
Most theorists seem unable to understand that the link from olfactory/pheromonal input to genetically predisposed ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction is well-detailed in the context of the conserved molecular mechanisms of ecological adaptation. Conserved molecular mechanisms are found in species from microbes to man. That explains why the adaptations are attributed to evolution, which leads some theorists to attribute the adaptations to mutation-initiated natural selection.
However, it is known that nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled alternative splicings and amino acid substitutions link the de novo creation of teeth in nematodes to the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes and the de novo creation of species-specific blends of pheromones, which control the physiology of reproduction in all species. Therefore, anytime you see a picture of teeth like the one from the link above (including pictures of teeth with reconstructed human fossilized skulls), you can associate the differences in teeth with the differences in amino acid substitutions that differentiate cell types, individuals, species, and species-specific behaviors in species from microbes to man. With those associations in mind, you are less likely to be fooled into thinking that training and experience with humans is all that’s required for all animals to become fully domesticated.
“Wild” animals bite when startled by a member of some other species. They bite because that is the response most likely to be associated with their lack of socialization in the presence of another species. Evolutionary theorists however, attribute our startle response in the presence of a snake to the evolution of our brain’s visual acuity and specificity. The snake-centric story of mutation-driven evolution tells us that our brain is adapted via natural selection because snake predation of monkeys in trees selected against any monkey that might otherwise have contributed genetic material that led to our evolution during millions of years of other adaptations.
The snake-centric theory of human brain evolution seems out of place in these comments about the amino acid dependent domestication of wild animals, doesn’t it? If so, it’s because that theory makes no sense whatsoever in any context. Not only does it defy all the missing logic of mutation-driven evolution, it defies common sense. That’s why I mentioned it.