Genetically tame foxes Novosibirsk

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Published on June 4, 2015 by admin

During research for my latest book PART WILD (Scribner 2011), I traveled to Russia to visit the fox farm in Novosibirsk. (This is not a fur farm.) The experiment, started in the 1950s by Dmitri Belyaev, seeks the genetic mechanisms involved in domestication. While a fascinating experiment, it is nonetheless heartbreaking to see these foxes in 3×3 wire cages with no stimulation of any kind. They rarely come out of their cages, and those foxes bred for tame behavior and an eagerness for contact with people rarely get it. In my opinion, this is one fundamental aspect of the experiment that should be changed. differences between “wild’ and “domestic”. Frankly, it was heartbreaking to see these foxes in 3×3 wire cages with no stimulation of any kind. They rarely come out of their cages, and those foxes bred for tame behavior and an eagerness for contact with people rarely get it. In my opinion, this is one fundamental aspect of the experiment that should be changed.

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