Galton's criteria for domestication

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    Francis Galton, a nineteenth century intellectual, believed that the success of animal domestication relied on five criteria. First, the animal must be hardy meaning they are capable of surviving adverse conditions. Second, they should have an inborne liking of man or comfortable in the presence of humans. Third, they should be comfort loving or sustainable in containment. Fourth, they should breed freely with little other restrictions than placing a male and female together. Finally, they should be easy to tend with an ability to survive juvenile stages. Early forms of Sea Bass met none of these requirements. Survival rates in the wild were minimal with only a handful out of up to a million eggs reaching adult size. Sea Bass, like most fish, do not have an affinity towards man. Most Sea Bass do not do well in containment making net raising difficult. Through a survival instinct, Sea Bass do not lay all their eggs at once. They deposit a few here and there in different conditions ensuring the best chances of juvenile survival. They are also not easily tended to. Born without a yolk sac attachment, juveniles must immediately begin to hunt. However, through many years of research and what I would presume to be millions of dollars of expenses, some of these obstacles have been overcome. Atlantic salmon on the other hand meet a few of these criteria and as such could be considered for domestication. Salmon in general lay all their eggs at once and while not a great survival rate they do have more success than the Sea Bass. It has been noted that Atlantic salmon do pretty well in captivity showing less intimidation towards humans and in some cases even coming towards farm workers once they relate their presence with food. Juvenile salmon are also born with a yolk sac attached to their abdomen. This provides the newly born fish with enough nutrients to survive the most delicate days in their life. If you were to adhere to this list in a strict fashion, then Sea Bass should have never been considered for domestication. Whereas, Atlantic salmon, meeting a few of criteria, would have been a more viable option for domestication.


    I like how you brought outside information into the post instead of just coping down what the book said. I personally didn’t think about the salmon meeting the human connection aspect of the list and you found a way to relate it. Now I see it as very reasonable. Salmon met pretty much every single one of the requirements.

    Ron Sheldon

    I like how you contrasted the strengths and weaknesses between the species. Additionally, it is obvious you did a little outside research as well as just relying on the book. One thing that I think is missing from Galton’s theory is necessity and familiararity. Both of these species were chosen for this reason and I think it is an additional point that must be considdered. After all, If someone had chosen any salmon (let’s say Chum) how many people would have wanted to dedicate the effort to farming them. Probably not many. But take a species that people already enjoyed like the Atlantic Salmon and Sea Bass and everyone is suddenly on board.

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