Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

New insights into animal domestication
“If early domestic animals lived at higher density than their wild counterparts, the likelihood of early domestic females breeding with multiple partners increased."

Changes to mating behaviour ‘enhanced domestic traits’ 

Wild animals such as wolves, pigs and cats may have become domesticated more quickly due to changes in mating behaviour, according to new research by the University of Liverpool.

Scientists say that as the animals’ population density increased in human environments, males encountered more opportunities for mating.

The benefits of pursuing these are likely to have outweighed the cost of defending access to a single mate.
 
Dr Ardern Hulme-Beaman explained: “If early domestic animals lived at higher density than their wild counterparts, the likelihood of early domestic females breeding with multiple partners increased.

“It follows that if early domestic females mated with multiple males, both wild and domestic, the more abundant and higher quality sperm of the early domestic male would out-compete the sperm of wild males.

“This could explain the reduction in transfer of genes between wild and increasingly domesticated populations.”

There are a number of advantages to polyandrous mating - for the males, it improves sperm production and quality, while for female animals, there is a benefit to their fitness and a reduction in unwanted advances.

Researchers say this prompts a rapid change in reproductive traits and competitive fertility and could explain why domesticated animals show “dramatically different social behaviours” to their wild ancestors.

Whilst the research team accepts that the main driving force behind the domestication of wild animals is habitat preference and human selection, further research could improve understanding of how changes in mating behaviour contributed to this process.  

 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Vets asked to opt-in to Scottish SPCA fostering programme

News Story 1
 The Scottish SPCA is encouraging veterinary practices to opt into its new fostering programme, by agreeing to register foster animals when approached by one of the foster carers.

The programme goes live in August 2021, and will help to rehabilitate animals under the Scottish SPCA's care until they are able to be properly re-homed. The programme will help the animals to receive care and attention in a stable and happy home environment, as some animals do not cope with a rescue and re-homing centre environment as well as others.

Specific information for veterinary practices on the new programme can be found at www.scottishspca.org/veterinarysurgeons 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Webinar provides insight into old age pets

A new webinar providing insights into the BSAVA PetSavers Old Age Pets citizen science project is now available free of charge to its members via the BSAVA Library

The webinar presents an exclusive insight into the research process and progression of the study, which aims to help veterinary professionals and owners provide the best care for their senior dogs.

It also discusses the study's research methods, the researchers' personal interests in this area of study, and how they envisage the findings being used to create a guidance tool to improve discussions between vets and owners about their ageing dogs.