Select Page

Animal domestication timeline

Animal domestication is closely associated with sustainability through its links to plant domestication, food and transport systems, and social organization.

There are 148 mammals in the world weighing over 45 kilos (100 lbs) and around 1900 14 had been domesticated. Seven of these domesticated species were from SW Asia, and of the world’s five most important domesticated animals (sheep, goats, cows, pigs, and horses) only the horse was absent from this region. Five were present in East Asia, one in South America and none in North America, Australia, and sub-Saharan Africa. This is a powerful argument for the influence of resources, especially biological ones (rather than cultural factors), on the emergence of agriculture, there being a strong correlation between the availability of domesticable plants and animals and the dates of origin of agriculture and herding.

BCE

~14-30,000 – Dog undetermined
8500 – Sheep Western Asia
8500 – Cat Fertile Crescent
8000 – Goats Western Asia
7000 – Pigs Western Asia
7000 – Cattle Eastern Sahara
6000 – Chicken Asia
5000 – Guinea pig Andes Mountains
6000 – Taurine Cattle Western Asia
5000 – Zebu Indus Valley
5000 – Llama Andes Mountains
4500 – Alpaca Andes Mountains
4000 – Donkey Northeast Africa
3600 – Horse Kazakhstan
3500 – Silkworm China
3500 – Bactrian camel China or Mongolia
3000 – Honey Bee Near East or Western Asia
3000 – Dromedary camel Saudi Arabia
3000 – Banteng Thailand
3000 – Yak Tibet
2500 – Water buffalo Pakistan
2500 – Duck Western Asia
1500 – Goose Germany
1500 – Mongoose? Egypt
1000 – Reindeer Siberia
300-200 – Stingless bee Mexico

CE

100 BC-100 AD – Turkey – Mexico
100 – Muscovy duck – South America
1000 – Scarlet Macaw(?) – Central America
1866 – Ostrich – South Africa

First published on the internet – 1 March 2019

Print Friendly, PDF & Email