Domestication  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Domestication (from Latin domesticus) is the process whereby a population of living organisms is changed at the genetic level, through generations of selective breeding, to accentuate traits that ultimately benefit humans. A usual by-product of domestication is the creation of a dependency in the domesticated organisms, so that they lose their ability to live in the wild. It differs from taming in that a change in the phenotypical expression and genotype of the animal occurs, whereas taming is simply the process by which animals become accustomed to human presence. A defining characteristic of domestication is artificial selection by humans. Humans have brought these populations under their control and care for a wide range of reasons: to produce food or valuable commodities (such as wool, cotton, or silk) and for types of work (such as transportation, protection, warfare), scientific research, or simply to enjoy as companions or ornaments.

Plants domesticated primarily for aesthetic enjoyment in and around the home are usually called house plants or ornamentals, while those domesticated for large-scale food production are generally called crops. A distinction can be made between those domesticated plants that have been deliberately altered or selected for special desirable characteristics (see cultigen) and those plants that are used for human benefit, but are essentially no different from the wild populations of the species. Animals domesticated for home companionship are usually called pets while those domesticated for food or work are called livestock or farm animals.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Domestication" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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