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2 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

Cheddar Man is the oldest known modern human skeleton in Britain. He died about 10,000 years ago. Previous assumptions were that he was fair of both skin and hair. But now an examination of his DNA had been done, with surprising results.

 

As it turned out, Cheddar Man was black, but not African. He had blue eyes and black hair. Which throws out the window many assumptions about Britain's early inhabitants, and about how cosmetic traits like skin color emerged.

 

Biologically speaking, race is a nonsense concept in that applying a moral value to cosmetic features says nothing at all about the capabilities of an individual. That so many people do just that is both sad and outrageous.

 

On the other hand, whenever I hear about "Cheddar Man"  I immediately think about a statue made of cheese.  

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2 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

 

A lot of states are overrun with feral hog populations. Some breeds of chicken would die out fast (meat breeds, especially), but by no means all. Many breeds of chicken aren't so far removed from their wild ancestors.

That could actually turn out worse.

A while ago there was some worries about Genetically Modified Salmon escaping into the wild. See, those slamons were modified to get bigger and fatter faster. The downside was numerous health issues like brittle bones. The downsides did not mater in a Fish Farm.

 

The thing is being "big and fat" is a primary mating characteristic. Because if it grew taht big, it must be really good at survival.

So if those escaped all the Lady Salmons would make out with the bulky engineered Slamon. And create offspring particulary ill suited to survival in the wild with hunters, dangers, etc.

 

2 hours ago, Old Man said:

My town is overrun with feral chickens.  They'd be fine without us.

What if bird hunting animals move back into the area?

What if the easy accessible foods of a human settlement stop being avalible?

 

There is a lot of room between "coexistence with humans" and "living in the wild".

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1 hour ago, Christopher said:

That could actually turn out worse.

 

Dude, it's like pigpocalypse in Texas and many other states. It IS worse. That's my point. The poor pigs and chickens aren't going to die without us. Also aware of the salmon issue, we had a case of it up here this past year.

 

1 hour ago, Christopher said:

What if bird hunting animals move back into the area?

 

Only if they're good swimmers. If we're talking apocalyptic scenario here, the local dogs would likely go feral and start chowing on chicken. Chickens aren't that tough for an agile dog to catch, and too stupid to avoid being herded by a pack.

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3 hours ago, Christopher said:

What if bird hunting animals move back into the area?

 

The place is also overrun with feral cats.  Feral pigs aren't quite so common but once in a while I'll have to swerve to avoid hitting them on the road.  I think the feral wallabies have died out.  Feral parrots are doing fine in certain areas (including downtown); they make a lot of noise. 

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On 2/7/2018 at 11:03 PM, Badger said:

 

On the other hand, whenever I hear about "Cheddar Man"  I immediately think about a statue made of cheese.  

I envision a  Cro-Magnon wandering around wearing animal skins and one of those Green Bay wedge hats.

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On 2/6/2018 at 4:30 PM, Ternaugh said:

 

Up in the canyons around here, we have chipmunks*.

 

 

 

 

*Some of which carry Bubonic Plague.

We have them too, as well as ground squirrels. But marmots are the closest thing we have to groundhog

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On 2/6/2018 at 5:11 PM, Ragitsu said:

Here, we occasionally get coyotes roaming through the streets at night. I kid you not.

Working night shift security I remember following the coyote all over the campus I worked on. This area till even be right inside town including also moose, cougars and very rarely bear end up inside Spokane

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On 2/7/2018 at 6:30 PM, Michael Hopcroft said:

The problem with that is that these three species are dependent upon another species -- Man -- for their survival. Domestic chickens and pigs would become literally extinct in a few decades if we as a species would decide to totally stop eating them or using their related products like eggs and leather.

I am going to disagree with you there. I suspect chickens would adapt and survive whether in huge numbers or not is another question. Pigs would probably be just fine. Look at the rampant spread of feral pigs around the United States. They are not in my area because there's just not enough food and it gets too cold I suspect.

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9 hours ago, gewing said:

I am going to disagree with you there. I suspect chickens would adapt and survive whether in huge numbers or not is another question. Pigs would probably be just fine. Look at the rampant spread of feral pigs around the United States. They are not in my area because there's just not enough food and it gets too cold I suspect.

 

45 minutes ago, Matt the Bruins said:

I'm sure some domestic chickens would adapt to life in the wild, but orders of magnitude fewer than the 19 billion or so alive today.

 

All of which is kind of beside the point I was trying to make.

 

Had pigs for example not tasted good to Humans, there would be no feral pigs loose on assorted continents because the pigs wouldn't BE on all continents. They'd  still be rooting around in the same geographic range they had when first domesticated. Chickens would probably be even more restricted in range. Wheat would be a wild grass growing in a certain part of Anatolia and unknown elsewhere.

 

The trait that enabled these and other species to expand their range and numbers to a global scale, is tasting good.

 

edit: Actually, it's not entirely beside the point. Matt the Bruins is probably right that the only reason there are 19 billions chickens is that they have been domesticated and are being bred and cared for by Humans. WHY have they been domesticated? Because they and their eggs taste so good.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I wouldn't recommend trying to eat a palindromedary though.

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2 hours ago, Lucius said:

edit: Actually, it's not entirely beside the point. Matt the Bruins is probably right that the only reason there are 19 billions chickens is that they have been domesticated and are being bred and cared for by Humans. WHY have they been domesticated? Because they and their eggs taste so good.

But once humans stop caring for them, 90% or so will propably die.

Being bred for food by the alpha predator is not exactly "evolutionary success".

 

Neither is getting eaten by Sergeant Schlock.

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1 minute ago, Christopher said:

But once humans stop caring for them, 90% or so will propably die.

Being bred for food by the alpha predator is not exactly "evolutionary success".

 

Neither is getting eaten by Sergeant Schlock.

 

How do you define "evolutionary success?"

 

All the genes care about is how many copies of themselves they can make. By that standard, being bred for food IS evolutionary success. Being eaten by Sgt Schlock isn't unless Schlock starts breeding Kreelys.

 

And when you say "once humans stop caring for them, 90% or so will propably die." what you're really saying is, "If a species is thriving in a given environment and the environment abruptly changes to something radically different that the organism is not adapted for, there will be a precipitous drop in population." That's certainly a true statement that applies to chickens, but it also applies to any other organism you can name. And if you think that fact somehow makes  chickens "not an evelotionary success" then I would counter there is no such thing as evolutionary success, because any species will be in trouble if their environment changes rapidly to something they are ill adapted for. Humans in South Africa for instance are in trouble because their environment is rapidly becoming more arid.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says there at the end I almost managed to get back on topic. Wait, what's the topic again?

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Lucius said:

All the genes care about is how many copies of themselves they can make.

Copies of themself that themself get to reproduce. Otherwise those copies really only feed predators.

 

Breeding does not allow most of the stock to reproduce. There are some dedicated sperm donors. Those are the only genes that reproduce.

And their children? They mostly get eaten. A few might get selected to be the next breeding sperm donor.

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1 hour ago, Christopher said:

Breeding does not allow most of the stock to reproduce. There are some dedicated sperm donors. Those are the only genes that reproduce.

 

That's how it works for ants, and no one says that ants aren't an evolutionary success.

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5 hours ago, Matt the Bruins said:

I'm sure some domestic chickens would adapt to life in the wild, but orders of magnitude fewer than the 19 billion or so alive today.

 

If not, the predators of the world, will have plenty of food for awhile.

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8 hours ago, Christopher said:

Copies of themself that themself get to reproduce. Otherwise those copies really only feed predators.

 

Breeding does not allow most of the stock to reproduce. There are some dedicated sperm donors. Those are the only genes that reproduce.

And their children? They mostly get eaten. A few might get selected to be the next breeding sperm donor.

 

You do realize that even by the terms you choose, many species are more evolutionarily successful under domestication?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary asks me if I realize the futility of engaging on this topic.

 

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6 hours ago, Starlord said:

*wonders what the Dodo bird tastes like*

 

Reports vary but probably not as good as chicken. Sailors stopping at Mauritius ate dodo because they had been without fresh meat during a long voyage, and because catching a dodo was child's play. In any case, habitat loss and the introduction of invasive species probably did more to do in the dodo then being hunted for food.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says dodo tastes like pigeon

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