This week was still centered around Big Idea 1, evolution. We moved on from speciation and natural selection, and are now focusing more on artificial selection and how it relates to domestication. Domestication is defined as: to tame (an animal), especially by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet or work animal and usually creating a dependency so that the animal loses its ability to live in the wild. Artificial selection is defined as: The breeding of plants and animals to produce desirable traits. Early on in the week we watched a video in class on whether silver foxes could be domesticated in a similar way to that of the domestication of wolves to dogs. In the video, they started off by classifying the foxes into groups based on how tame or friendly they were. They experimented and took the most tame foxes and bred them with one another, and then bred their offspring together, and so on for a few generations. After these generations, the foxes showed huge differences in appearance and behavior. They started to look like dogs! Their tails began to curl, ears droop, colors change and started behaving like dogs. Does this mean that dogs with more perky ears are more closely related to wolves or foxes? And do droopy ears always mean they will be more playful and tame compared to dogs with pointed ears?
On the left is a tame fox that is demonstrating tame behavior and on the right is an aggressive fox.
This week we also planted some seeds into empty water bottles and I am very excited to see where this goes and how they turn out. 🙂