Domestication is a process that involves alteration of the natural environment of a plant or an animal. It usually involves the species being confined in a restricted environment and is attained when the species undergoes a series of genetic changes that occurs over years. The changes may also occur due to a variety of ecological changes that has happened to the members of these species over time that may influence the occurrence of some biological behaviors. The species may either lose or gain some traits that they would have if they were in a wild environment (Prince, 1984). According to Feldhamer (2007) in “Mammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity, Ecology”, the author adds that the process is as a result of human interactions with the species. Humans benefit from the species but the species does not benefit.
Domestic species show some changed morphological and behavioral changes. Morphological changes are the physical changes in the species structure while behavioral changes are changes in the species’ traits. In animals, the mammals especially, the domesticated animals show a variety of general changes from the rest of their ancestral animals living in the wild. The main change experienced by these animals is the decrease in body size. For example, most dogs that are domesticated are different in size from the wolves in the world. The skulls of these animals are also reduced in size as well as the teeth reduced. The bones of these animals are also considerably small and weaker than those of animals in the wild (Connor, 2008).
The domesticated animals have smaller thinking capacities due to their reduced brain in comparison to their counterparts in the world. The domesticated animals have also shown trends of experiencing lower growth rates and the horns (for the animals with horns) are also decreased in size. The shade and print selection of the animals in the wild is usually reduced so as to increase survival and adaptability while the domestic animals have a wider variety of shades. All these morphological changes contribute to the way the domesticated animals behave. These animals have reduced reactions to their environment and danger. Domesticated animals also experience slower movement rates as well as lack of sensitivity and awareness of their environments and the role they play in an ecosystem. Domestication leads to an animal experiencing higher reproduction rates, thus increased breeding rates than the animals in the wild.
Domesticated plants also show changes in their morphology and behavior. Some of these changes are seen in plants like rice wheat and barley. Domesticated maize is the easiest to relate with as the seed is found in smaller forms than those of the wild counterparts (Nesbitt, 2005). In plants which have tuber roots, domestication makes the plant’s tuber to increase in size than the wild plant’s appearances. The tubers of the domesticated plants also show increased smoothness but these aspects are not very recognizable. For example in wheat, the wild form has splinter ears unlike the domestic wheat that have ears that stay unbroken. The major difference of wild and domestic wheat lies in the manner in which both disperse their seeds whereby the wild form is able to disperse seeds efficiently due to the splinter ears. The domesticated seeds disperse only if interfered with through scattering.
The general trait of the domesticated plants is that they grow taller, have wider stems and bigger corns. There are other traits like the absence of true leaves. The plants fail to show signs of a developed diversity like that of cross pollination.
Domesticated plants and animals both have recognizable differences. Wild forms are well diverse in their characteristics so as to be able to survive in the environment due to factors like competition. Domesticated plants and animals are not well diverse as they do not face completion in their environment. Domesticated species are inferior to the species in the wild and would hardly survive in the natural environment of the world.