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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.  

 

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Prestigious veterinary awards open for nominations

News Story 1
 Nominations for the prestigious PetPlan Veterinary Awards 2022 are now open, with five accolades up for grabs including: Practice of the Year; Vet of the Year, Vet Nurse of the Year, Practice Manager of the Year and Practice Support Staff.

Anyone can nominate an outstanding veterinary professional or practice for an award, from colleagues to pet owners, friends and family. Nominations remain anonymous, and Petplan will send everyone who receives a nomination a certificate to display in their practice.

Nominations can be made at petplanvet.co.uk and remain open until Monday 10 January. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New online CPD otitis podcast created

A new 15 minute podcast on treating animals with otitis has been created by Dechra Veterinary Products. Featuring general practice vet Carolyn Kyte and veterinary dermatology specialist Natalie Barnard, the two vets will discuss their experiences treating otitis, and why owners are significant in successful treatment.

Dechra Brand Manager Carol Morgan commented: "What Carolyn and Natalie bring to the table with their new podcast for the Dechra Academy is a light and insightful discussion about communication and education being the keystone for better otitis outcomes and how vets can improve on their consultation skills to handle cases better."`

The podcast, called 'Think Differently about Otitis', is available to access for free on the Dechra Academy on-demand learning platform here.