We explain what pets are, examples and some of the main characteristics of these animals.
What are the pets?
Domestic animals are understood as all those who have gone through a domestication process , that is, who have learned to live with the human being to such an extent that in many cases it would be difficult for them to lead an existence away from human society .
Domestication is called the process of accustoming an animal or plant species of wildlife to the terms of human existence , that is, to live with the human being and adapt to the type of activities it performs. It is a process initiated thousands of years ago, at the dawn of our species , when the discovery of agriculture led to the need for robust animals that would give the human being the strength that his body lacked. This process was also key in the invention of livestock and other similar activities.
Vegetable species were also domesticated, such as corn and wheat , which adapted to proliferate in human-controlled spaces, rather than their natural environments. This process forever altered its evolutionary courses and subjected the species to artificial selection processes according to our needs as a species.
Today, pets live with us in rural and urban environments , using company, food , transportation or work force . In return, we offer an effortless and competitive diet , a safe habitat and certain amenities, especially to those we consider everyday companions, such as dogs and cats.
Examples of domestic animals
Below is a list of the most frequent domestic animals:
- Dog (Canis lupus familiaris).
- Rooster (Gallus gallus)
- Cat (Felis silvestris catus)
- Cow (Bos primigenius taurus)
- Zebu bull (Bos primigenius indicus)
- Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus)
- Pork (Sus scrofa domestica)
- Sheep (Ovis orientalis aries)
- Guinea pig (Cavia porcellus)
- Donkey (Equus africanus asinus)
- Domestic duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus)
- Horse (Equus ferus)
- Dromedary (Camelus dromedarius)
- Silkworm (Bombyx mori)
- Common pigeon (Columba livia domestica)
- Camel (Camelus bactrianus)
- Flame (Flame Flame)
- Alpaca (Vicugna pacos)
- Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris)
- Turón (Mustela putorius)
- Homemade mouse (Mus musculus)
- Tortola rosigris (Sreptopelia roseogrisea)
- Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
- Carp fish (Cyprinus carpio)
- Domestic rat (Rattus norvegicus)
- Domestic canary (Serinus canaria domestica)
- Guppy fish or million fish (Poecilia reticulata)
- Domestic bee (Apis mellifera)
- Creole duck (Cairina moschata)
- Peacock (Pavo cristatus)
- Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
- Macaw (Ara macao)
- Land turtle (Chelonoidis carbonaria)
- Swan (Cygnus olor)
- Australian parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus)
- Fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)
- Capybara, chigüire or capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)
- Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus)
- Red-eared Turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans)
- Domestic parrot (Psittacidae spp.)
Differences between domestic and wild animals
Although domestic animals are adapted to live with us, in some cases even within our homes, and therefore forming a close bond with us, as if we were in some cases members of the same pack, this was not always the case. And before being domesticated, animals lived in their natural habitat, subject to natural laws , that is, in the wild. Most of the animals in the world still live this way, which is why they are called wild animals, away from human intervention. Thus, while domestic animals live in our homes, on farms or in stables, wild animals live in their respective habitats: the jungle , the desert , the sea, etc.
We call a group of species of domestic canids, related to the wild wolf , that about 10,000 years ago undertook a way of life close to the human being, probably understanding that an association with our species could be beneficial in terms of easy access to food, heat and roof, in exchange for protection and assistance in hunting.
The passage of the centuries, however, ended up making the dog a companion animal with enormous variety between one breed and the other , due in part to our interference by selective crossing.
Another of the most common companion animals is the cat, although of a less complete domestication, in appearance, than that of the dog, since it retains a good part of its hunting instincts intact . It is thought that he was introduced to human civilization as a way to hunt rodents that infested the food deposits of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
This type of medium-sized feline was revered by numerous Eastern civilizations and condemned by Western Christianity, who saw in them a symbol of evil, surely due to their nocturnal and independent habits.
One of the most sociable domestic birds known, of typically green plumage although with other accessory colors , the parrot stands out for its strong curved beak and its ability to mimic human language . It is not, however, that the parrot really “speaks”, since it is incapable of acquiring language; but it is capable of faithfully imitating diverse words, as well as making other sounds such as whistles, laughter, etc.
Perhaps the most important domestic animal for human history is the cow, or at least cattle in general. Not only because of it we obtain milk, source of numerous food products , and various types of meat or leather, to feed us or to protect us from the cold; but also because its introduction to the primitive human civilizations allowed the plow to be carried out much more effectively, taking advantage of the brute force of the animal to open grooves in the earth and then be able to sow.
Another of the most significant domestic animals in our history , associated with strength, speed and wild spirit, served as a transport to the human for millennia , either directly riding it or using it as a traction of various wheeled vehicles (carts, floats, etc. ). To such a degree comes the domestication of the horse that we usually intervene directly in its body, nailing metal horseshoes in the hooves to protect them from wear, or removing teeth to insert the flanges.
These African and Asian animals were domesticated by the cultures of desert habitats, which they saw in their strength, their passivity and their ability to spend up to 10 days without drinking water , the ideal characteristics to serve as a beast of burden. This domestication is much more recent than that of other animals of similar use, but was key in the commercial development of desert regions, such as the Sahara.