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Animal Experiments I'd Like to See

03/26/06

  12:44:20 am, by Nimble   , 222 words  
Categories: Distractions, Thoughts, Science

Animal Experiments I'd Like to See

A while back, when we were chatting to someone who works for the Calgary Zoo, we heard tales of the extremely tame porcupine that alarmingly wanted up on peoples' laps. That led me to thinking, in addition to Dena telling me that there's now a surprisingly adorable porcupine baby at the Zoo now... there are some animals that are right on the verge of tameness, or other interesting characteristics, that have some characteristic that would prevent them from being good pets.

Here are things I'd like to see:

  • Popcupines without needles would be great
  • Skunks without muskiness
  • Beavers without their wood-gnawing habits (I got to pet a rescue animal once - oh my god, their pelts are soft)

I've seen some very smart dog behaviour as well. One experiment I'd like to see done is to breed dogs almost purely for intelligence. How intelligent could they go? Would there be some unexpected findings?

How about birds?

I'm also a little inspired by the fox-taming study done in Russia (I'd LOVE a tame pet fox!). Amazing what was able to be done in 45 years.

(A more thorough look at the study can be found here. It's ironic that his direction was caused because he committed to genetics, which could have had him executed in the early days of Lysenkoism.)

So how about it, Science? :)

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