THE DOMESTICATION OF ANIMALS
The domestication of wild species led directly to denser human populations by yielding more food than the hunter-gatherer lifestyle could provide. In societies that possessed domestic animals, livestock helped to feed more people by providing meat, milk, and fertilizer, and by pulling plows. Large domestic animals became the societies’ main source of animal protein, replacing wild game, and they also famished wool, leather, and land transport. Humans have domesticated only a few species of large animals, with “large” defined as those weighing over 100 pounds (45 kilograms). Fourteen such species were domesticated before the twentieth century, all of them terrestrial mammals and herbivores. The five most important of these are sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and cattle or oxen.
Small animals such as ducks, geese, rabbits, dogs, cats, mink, bees, and silkworms have also been domesticated. Many of these small animals provided food, clothing, or warmth. However, none of them pulled plows or wagons, none carried riders, and none except dogs pulled sleds. Furthermore, no small domestic animals have been as important for food as have large domestic animals.
Early herding societies quickly domesticated all large mammal species that were suitable for domestication. There is archaeological evidence that these species were domesticated between 10,000 and 4,500 years ago, within the first few thousand years of the origins of farming-herding societies after the last Ice Age. The continent of Eurasia has been the primary site of large mammal domestication. Having the most spccies of wild mammals to begin with, and losing the fewest to extinction in the last 40,000 years, Eurasia has generated the most candidates for domestication.
Domestication involves transforming wild animals into something more useful to humans. Truly domesticated animals differ in many ways from their wild ancestors. These differences result from two processes: human selection of individual animals that are more useful to humans than other individuals of the same species, and evolutionary responses of animals to the forces of natural selection operating in human environments rather than in wild environments.
To be domesticated, a wild species must possess several characteristics. A candidate for domestication must be primarily a herbivore because it takes less plant biomass to feed a plant eater than it does to feed a carnivore that consumes plant eaters. No carnivorous mammal has ever been domesticated for food simply because it would be too costly. A candidate must not only weigh an average of over 100 pounds but also grow quickly. That eliminates gorillas and elephants, even though they are herbivores. Moreover, candidates for domestication musl be able to breed successfully in captivity.
Since almost any sufficiently large mammal species is capable of killing a human, certain qualities disqualify a wild animal for domestication. The animal cannot have a disposition that is nasty, dangerous, or unpredictable—characteristics that eliminate bears, African buffaloes, and some species of wild horses. The animal cannot be so nervous that it panics around humans. Large herbivorous mammal species react to danger from predators or humans in different ways. Some species are nervous, fast, and programmed for instant flight when they’ perceive danger. Others are less nervous, seek protection in herds, and do not run until necessary. Most species of deer and antelope are of the former type, while sheep and goats are of the latter.
Almost all domesticated large mammals are species whose wild ancestors share three social characteristics: living in a herd maintaining a dominance hierarchy in the herd, and having herds that occupy overlapping home ranges instead of mutually exclusive territories. Humans have taken advantage of these characteristics in keeping domestic animals together with others of their species and in close proximity to other species of domestic animals.
terrestrial: living on land rather than in water herbivores: animals that feed mainly on plants
51. The word furnished in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
52. According to the passage, what benefit of large domestic animals is not also provided by small animals?
(A) A source of food
(B) A source of clothing
(C) The ability to pull a plow
(D) The ability to be ridden
53. Which of the following can be inferred about large mammal species?
(A) Relatively few species have the necessary characteristics for domestication.
(B) More species of large mammals are domesticated as pets than for food.
(C) Only a few large terrestrial mammal species are primarily herbivores.
(D) All large mammals can be classified into one of five important groups.
54. According to the passage, when did early humans domesticate all suitable large mammal species?
(X) After humans bad populated every continent
(X) Before the Ice Age caused many animals to become extinct
(X) At the same time they domesticated small animals
(X) Within a few thousand years after farming and herding began
55. According to the passage, what is one reason that domesticated animals differ from their wild ancestors?
(X) Wild animals find food easily, but domesticated animals must work for food.
(X) Domesticated animals live near humans, so they forget their wild ancestors.
(X) Animals’ evolutionary responses in captivity differ from those in the wild.
(X) More animals survive in human environments than in wild environments.
56. Which sentence below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in paragraph 5? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.
(A) Plant food is less expensive than meat, which explains why plant-eating animals are perfect candidates for domestication.
(B) Herbivorous animals are likely to be domesticated because they eat less plant matter than what carnivores consume indirectly.
(C) Domesticated animals are primarily plant eaters, but most wild animals are carnivores that feed on other animals.
(D) It is more difficult and costly to domesticate carnivores than to domesticate herbivores because carnivores are more dangerous.
57. Why does the author mention gorillas and elephants in paragraph 5?
(X) To suggest that some overlooked animals could be domesticated
(X) To illustrate the wide variety among large herbivores
(X) To identify animals intelligent enough to avoid domestication
(X) To give examples of animals that grow too slowly for domestication
58. The word disqualify in paragraph 6 is closest in meaning to
59. The word panics in paragraph 6 is closest in meaning to
(A) feels terror
(B) refuses to eat
(C) attacks others
(D) becomes ill
60. What can be inferred from paragraph 6 about deer and antelope?
(?) They run away from humans only if threatened.
(?) They do not supply meat of a consistent quality.
(?) They are as dangerous as certain wild horses.
(?) They have not successfully been domesticated.
61. All of the following are characteristics favorable to domestication EXCEPT
(A) weighing over 100 pounds
(B) unpredictable behavior
(C) ability to breed in captivity
(D) living in a herd with a hierarchy
62. Look at the four squares, [A], [B], [C], [D] which indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage. Where would the sentence best fit?
Eurasia is a huge, ecologically diverse landmass, and therefore has a great many large mammal species.
Early herding societies quickly domesticated all large mammal species that were suitable for domestication. [A] There is archaeological evidence that these species were domesticated between 10,000 and 4,500 years ago, within the first few thousand years of the origins of farming-herding societies after the last Ice Age. [B] The continent of Eurasia has been the primary site of large mammal domestication. [C] Having the most species of wild mammals to begin with, and losing the fewest to extinction in the last 40,000 years, Eurasia has generated the most candidates for domestication. [D]
63. Read the first sentence of a summary of the passage. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.
The domestication of animals provided humans with food, clothing, and other benefits.
(A) The most important domestic animals are large herbivorous mammals that live in herds.
(B) Ducks, geese, rabbits, dogs, cats, and many other small animals have been domesticated.
(C) Although herbivores eat mainly plant matter, some species occasionally eat small animals.
(D) Humans quickly domesticated all large mammal species that were suitable for domestication.
(E) Animals must have several essential characteristics in order to be domesticated successfully.
(F) Large herbivorous mammals respond in various ways when threatened by predators.