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Felicitous Felines

MadixA while ago, I posted an entry discussing starch digestion in dogs. Essentially, the domesticated dog is domesticated in part because it can digest molecules that wolves can’t.  They likely developed this trait over time to be closer to us. Now there is evidence that our feline friends have done the same ‘evolution’. 

http://www.popsci.com/article/science/kitty-dna-shows-cats-have-evolved-learn-treats

Geneticists have determined that wild cats brains do not fire up in response to treats offered, as do house kitties.  What is interesting to me, is that a reinforced behavior led to a long-term genetic change.  In this case, domestic felines run neuro pathways different from wild felines in response to their humans signals.  They have evolved to interact with us closer. This is somewhat different from what we have accepted about cat behavior previously. 

We joke about their indifference to our presence, but perhaps this observation is unfair to felines. There is evidence they do have the capacity to bond to us like dogs.

It makes me think of the bigger picture. What else could we change in OUR brains and genes over time if we were only willing?

Happy Holidays!

 

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