Table 1.

Common western domestic animals and their context

Domestic animalWild ancestorEarliest human association/domesticationFirst special breed formationInitial utilityPrimary initial selective mechanismRef(s).
Common nameScientific nameCommon nameScientific nameTimeLocus
DogCanis familarisGrey wolfC. lupus13,000–17,000 BPCentral Europe3000–4000 BPSentry, food, huntingNS/AS27, 29, 63
House sparrowPasser domesticusSparrowPasser predomesticusEarliest NeolithicFertile CrescentNoneNone*NS64, 65
PigeonColumba liviaRock doveSameUpper Pleistocene?Fertile CrescentUnknownFood??NS/AS65
House mouseMus domesticusGrey mouseMus musculus12,000 BPFertile Crescent< 300 yearsNone*NS44, 65, 66
Black ratRattus rattusSameSame<12,000 BPSE AsiaNoneNone*NS65
Brown ratRattus norvegicusSameSame<5500 BPCentral Asia1856None*NS65, 67
GoatCapra hircusBezoarCapra aegagrus11,000 BPSE Anatolia-Zagros>5000 BPFoodAS3, 5, 6873
SheepOvis ariesMouflonO. orientalis12,000 BPSE Anatolia; Iraq6000–5500 BPFoodAS3, 5, 7274
Taurine cattleBos taurusAurochBos primigenius primigenius11,000–10,500 BPSE Anatolia; Upper Euphrates> 4500 BPFoodAS3, 5, 7577
Zeboid cattleBos indicusAurochBos primigenius namadicus9000 BPNW South AsiaUnknownFoodAS19, 7880
PigSus domesticusWild boarSus scrofia10,500 BPAt least six; includes SE AnatoliaNeolithicFoodAS3, 5, 81, 82
DonkeyEquus asinus asinusAfrican wild assEquus asinus africanus4800 BPEastern AfricaUnknownFood, transportationAS8385
HorseEquus caballusEuropean forest horse (Tarpan)Equus ferus5000–4000 BPPontic steppes, Central Asian steppes> 2800 BPFood, transportationAS8587
Dromedary camelCamelus dromedariusSameSame≈5000 BPArabiaUnknownFood, transportationAS8890
Bactrian camelCamelus bactrianusSameSame4600 BPEast IranUnknownFood, transportationAS89
CatF. silvestris catusWildcatF. silvestris lybica9700 BPCyprus/Fertile Crescent< 300 yearsNone*NS37, 39
  • *These species were commensals that seized advantage of anthropogenic habitat.