Once more: the names of domestic animals

Achilles GAUTIER

en Anthropozoologica 25-26 - Pages 113-118

Published on 01 June 1998

This article is a part of the thematic issue Proceedings of the 7th ICAZ International Meeting, Constance, September 1994

Animal domestication can be defined as the removal, by humans, of animals from their free-living communities, to live and breed under the control of and for the benefit of their captors; as a result these animals acquire domestic traits. From the biological viewpoint, animal domestication is a form of microevolution caused principally, if not entirely, by profound changes in selection. The available evidence indicates that this microevolution is, in essence, a monophyletic process, although introgression may have occurred sporadically or still occurs. However, this microevolutionary process has not resulted in reproductive isolation of domestic animals. The foregoing creates problems concerning the systematics and nomenclature of domestic animals which the author has reviewed in a previous paper. The present paper re-examines some of the existing proposals for a uniform nomenclature and the choices involved in coming to a consensus with regard to the adoption of unified concepts and Latin names for our domestic animals. Perhaps the principal question is whether archaeo(zoo)logists dealing with domestic animals consider it necessary and advantageous to adopt a uniform nomenclature.


Animal domestication, nomenclature, microevolution.

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