Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Technology Will non-canine/feline pets ever become common?

Discussion in 'SCIENCE!!' started by Planetar, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Planetargender: ⚧ Hi, my name is Liberal Dumbfuck

    Planetar
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    Do you think scientific advancement in genetics and selective breeding will eventually produce animals, which are just as safe and easy to have as a house pet as a common dog or cat? Do you think people in the future will walk leopards, bears and wolverines on a leash in the park, and think nothing of it because all of their savage instincts were bred out?

    Watching nature documentaries makes me wish I could hug and pet all those cute mammals, almost all of which are unsuitable as pets even if they lived their whole life in captivity.
     
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  2. Make America Great Again CyberWhalegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    You already have pygmy goats, foxes and raccoons living as pets in USA.
    But yeah, having domesticated miniature versions of big cats, bears and so on would be pretty cool.
    Imagine a tiny elephant in your backyard trained to help you wash your car.

    :love:
     
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  3. Dicksmokergender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I hope not.
     
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  4. bootgender: ⚧ Savant

    boot
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    I haven't seen a scientific advancement in a long time.
     
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  5. Poosgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Poos
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    even with breeding out savage instincts it would still be cruel, especially for big cats because they need to wander

    so environmentalists will shit themselves because they will kill native birds and probably other domesticated cats (lol) and the neighbours probably wont enjoy a male lion wandering around the streets
     
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  6. hello friendgender: ⚧ Arcane

    hello friend
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    Bioluminescent ferrets that imitate speech like ravens
     
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  7. Unrealgender: ⚧ Novice

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    Pets are retarded
     
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  8. Fedora Mastergender: ⚧ Learned

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    <Insert racist joke about blacks here>
     
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  9. DraQgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Leopards are feline.
     
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  10. Crispygender: ⚧ Old Man Undisputed Queen of Faggotry

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  11. Beastrogender: ⚧ Magister

    Beastro
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    Ferrets shall complete the trinity of pet carnivora.

    They already have a headway in that something in their domestication has turned them into a gregarious species that likes company, despite coming from a solitary background, unlike cats which remain effectively loners.

    [​IMG]

    Raccoons make terrible pets. Once they grow up and stop being babies they become very ornery and tear houses apart.

    Foxes are short step from a dog. More so than any wolf would be, oddly.
     
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  12. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    (1) Obviously a range of non-cat/dog pets already exist, including fish, birds, small mammals (hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, etc.), reptiles (snakes, lizards, turtles), and rabbits -- this is not even reaching farm animals or more eccentric pet types.

    (2) Beastro -- There is an ongoing fox domestication program in Russia that is decades and many generations into the process, notwithstanding funding issues. It's a big undertaking though. While selective breeding is obviously much more advanced today, there have been thousands (if not tens of thousands) of years of selective breeding going into dogs, cats, and horses (which I consider the three main "companion" animals, though horses have lost that status in the past ~150 years). Moreover, during that period of domestication, human behavior shifted to accommodate these animals, such that our expectations of what it means for an animal to be domesticated are shaped by those three, so it is even harder for other species to meet the same benchmarks.

    (3) Poos -- Big cats would pose a much, much smaller risk to native bird populations than small cats. In the U.S. alone, domesticated cats kill billions (1.4B to 3.7B, I gather) of birds a year. (That is a kill rate of between 10-20% of all birds in the U.S. Good thing they lay so many eggs, I guess.) With some quick Googling, apparently the figure is about a million native birds a day in Australia. Big cats pose a different problem, namely killing people and dogs. Selectively breeding big cats would be really difficult in contrast to, say, foxes, since lionesses don't have cubs till age 4 and have small litters. (For obvious reasons, selective breeding is best with things like fruit flies or rats where you have huge birth rates from a very young age because it means you have a large population to select from, and then can quickly produce a new population from it.) Foxes breed at one year and have somewhat larger litters than lions.

    Genetic manipulation changes everything of course, but isolating the genes that control for domesticity seems pretty difficult. Especially when you considered that dogs and cats, for all their domestication, are still not that averse to attacking people.
     
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  13. Beastrogender: ⚧ Magister

    Beastro
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    That breeding program is what gave us our first indications of how dog domestication went, especially how quickly the foxes changed in that within a generation or two they began to bark do other very non-foxlike things just like dogs.
     
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  14. J1Mgender: ⚧ Arcane

    J1M
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    That bird number is astoundingly high. Are they giving cats credit for every bird that hit a window/was old/otherwise injured and found by a cat?
     
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  15. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    It is a mind boggling number. I first came across it in The World Without Us, and subsequently in other ecology books. I double checked it on Google today, and while I came across an aww-shucks-I-love-cats NPR thing casting shade on it, I didn't see any credible criticism. What mostly struck me is the incredible turnover rate of birds, because it's not like cats are the only thing wiping them out, windows (perhaps a much as 1B a year in the U.S.), power lines (1B a year, globally), and wind turbines are slaughtering them too (hundreds of thousands in the U.S.). People get upset about pesticides and hunters but they're really trivial as these things go -- perhaps, though, they account for more charismatic birds, I'm not sure.

    A friend in the energy industry described to me the nightmare of solar water-heating facilities in the desert (which operate by huge mirrors reflecting/focusing light into boiling tanks). The light from the mirrors draws huge swarms of bugs, the bugs draw birds, and everything is incinerated within the burn zone, leaving an uncountable (and I suppose thus unaccountable) ashen massacre. With the turbines the mutilated bird bodies are at least something that can be looked at.
     
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