Re: This used to be on disease and immunity

Domingo Martinez-Castilla (
Sun, 07 Jul 96 04:33:01 GMT

Thanks to Mr. Stephen Barnard for addressing my request on recent
domesticates. He seems to share my point of view of what domestication
involves (which, of course, is not only "mine" at all).

In article <>, wrote:
>> (Domingo Martinez-Castilla) wrote:
>> >5. Domestication: I humbly request any reference indicating which
>> >American animal and crop species were domesticable and had not been
>> >domesticated at the time of contact. In other words, how many
>> >indigenous American species of plants and animals have been domesticated
>> >in the last 500 years? Or even more: all over the world?
>The North American Bison. They are commonly raised for food.

That is true. However, I have to say that I am not familiar enough with bison
husbandry, to see how advanced the process is and which are the requirements
of their management (as in feeds, genetic selection, races, etc.) In
particular, I will examine the feeding: how dependent are the animals on their
ranchers? Regarding genetic selection, I suspect that that is minimal. If I
am wrong, I would like to read more.
>Also the turkey. They've been domesticated to the point where thay are
>nearly unrecognizable as being related to their wild progenitor.

Turkeys were domesticated prior to contact, as I already noted them as one of
the five-six animal species domesticated in the Americas. It could be argued
that today's domestic turkeys are as far as their wild relatives as wolves and

>Also quail, which are raised for both meat and eggs.

Are you referring to the very domestic Eurasian quail (Coturnix coturnix), or
to the American quail (Lophortyx californicus, among others)? If some
American species have been domesticated, I would be very interested in knowing
the process.

>Another example (worldwide) is the Ostrich. I believe there are efforts
>to domesticate Eland.

Ostrich farming seems to be a little more advanced than bison's, and the
industry seems to be going through a boom here in the US. But that seems to
be a good case to examine regarding my request. Ostriches are easily tamed
(as most animals). (While in Nairobi, I missed the very unusual spectacle of
ostrich racing, in Uhuru (independence) day. I saw it in television, though,
"Jockeys" are small, of course, like at Churchill Downs.)

Regarding eland, I understand that one of the two species is being
successfully farmed (as opposed to only "ranched", if you allow the use of
the terms) in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Wildlife, or game, ranchs abound in

Thanks for the information.


Domingo Martinez Castilla