The first domesticated foxes [video]


46 points | by kposehn 222 days ago


  • mr_overalls 221 days ago

    The Belyayev foxes have always fascinated me. And I've wondered about the feasibility of applying his domestication protocol to other animals, like apes, raccoons, etc. Or alternating selection for tameness with intelligence every few dozen generations.

    Maybe David Brin's idea of Uplift could become a reality.

  • uxhacker 221 days ago

    So when I was a kid I when visiting my family in Australia I tamed a Cockatoo. A Cockatoo is an Australian Parrot, After I left back for the UK, my aunt never forgave me. Joe, the Cockatoo became very dependent on the family.

    I grew up on the Kings Road in London and a local shop has a pet lion called Christian. A film was made about Christian been returned to the wild.

    In my 30's I tried to tame some foxes, using dog food as a sign of peace. They would enter my cottage when I had the TV on, but would never go closer than about 5 feet.

    But it was quite cool having foxes in one's own house. It used to scare quests, who would normally think they were wild dogs.

    BUT I know belive wild animals should be wild. We project meaning on them, that is our interpretation.

    • picsao 221 days ago

      Taming foxes and then going on holiday. Result - entering a different house and getting shot.

    • adrianN 221 days ago

      Racoons are actually very easy to domesticate.

      • eesmith 221 days ago

        Technically, the word you are looking for is 'tame' not 'domesticate'. Quoting :

        > Domestication should not be confused with taming. Taming is the conditioned behavioral modification of a wild-born animal when its natural avoidance of humans is reduced and it accepts the presence of humans, but domestication is the permanent genetic modification of a bred lineage that leads to an inherited predisposition toward humans.[

        • mr_overalls 221 days ago

          I had one as a child, but it got mean when it got older. Similar story with lots of other semi-tame animals, in my (farm childhood) experience.

          Those genes activated by puberty might be ones to target.

          • nradov 221 days ago

            So why doesn't everyone have domesticated pet raccoons?

            • Goladus 221 days ago

              Do you mean domesticated as in breeding for traits, or just raising them to be socialized with humans?