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Domestication of animals helped humanity thrive.

A new theory coming out of Pennsylvania State University suggests that the interaction between animals and humans played a key role in the evolution of humanity.  Penn State anthropologist Pat Shipman has just published her paper "The Animal Connection And Human Evolution" in the latest edition of Current Anthropology

Her research introduces the idea that the domestication of animals drove the development of tool-making and language, both of which have driven the success of mankind, according to Physorg

"Establishing an intimate connection to other animals is unique and universal to our species," said Shipman. Shipman indicates that the animal connection had a major influence on human evolution, genetics, and behavior.
While Shipman acknowledges that there is an increasingly intimate and reciprocal set of interactions between animals and humans -- interactions that compel humans to adopt animals as pets -- she states that the it all began when humans began observing and exploiting animals.    

After watching animals and observing their habits, more than 2 million years ago, humans switched from a vegetarian diet to a meat-based diet.  Shipman said this happened because humans invented stone hunting tools that enabled them to compete with other predators, according to
 Thaindian News

"We shortcut the evolutionary process,” said Shipman. “We don’t have the equipment to be carnivores."

Animals were then domesticated as an extension of tool-making.  Shipman described domesticated animals as living tools that also provided valuable renewable resources.

Domesticated animals were utilized for their muscular power beyond human strength, use as transport and for raw materials. Managing these living tools required some way to express and retain this information and out of that need, the development of languages were formed.

Shipman hypothesizes that this animal connection, "gave a selective advantage to humans who had better abilities to observe, draw conclusions, communicate, and to make a new sort of living tool."

Shipman is also in the process of developing a book on her findings called "The Animal Connection".

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By geddarkstorm on 8/11/2010 3:18:31 PM , Rating: 5
Considering the luxury my cat lives in, I have to wonder who's really on the top of the food chain.

RE: Well...
By Performance Fanboi on 8/11/2010 6:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention dogs. We pick up their poop therefore we are the servants.

RE: Well...
By quiksilvr on 8/12/2010 8:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
We only do that because other humans made it the law to do so. Pretty sure we wouldn't do it if it wasn't the law.

RE: Well...
By Quadrillity on 8/12/2010 11:29:34 AM , Rating: 1
actually, we pick up dog s*** because it's the polite and decent thing to do if you are in a public area. Only a scumbag a**hole wouldn't clean up after their pet.

RE: Well...
By mindless1 on 8/11/2010 8:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
Top of the food chain? Certainly not, somewhere between a big mac and filet mignon.

RE: Well...
By FITCamaro on 8/11/2010 10:20:13 PM , Rating: 5
"Day 42 of my captivity. They have been feeding me cereal while they feast on steak. And for some reason I am overcome with endless twitching when they put a ball of yarn near me. I must escape this prison lest I go insane."

RE: Well...
By TSS on 8/11/2010 10:26:44 PM , Rating: 3
This popped into my head while reading the title ^^

Slartibartfast: [talking about the Earth] Best laid plans of mice.
Arthur: And men.
Slartibartfast: What?
Arthur: Best laid plans of mice and men.
Slartibartfast: Oh. No, I don't think men had much to do with it.

RE: Well...
By marvdmartian on 8/12/2010 9:53:23 AM , Rating: 3
"Taking care of simple, even a caveman can do it!!"

Remember, dogs have owners.....cats have STAFF.

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