Skip to main content.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
{search_item}
Artist’s reconstruction of a new fossil species Hemignathus vorpalis (bottom), based on its probable resemblance to adult males of its genus: H. wilsoni (Akiapola’au, above) and H. lucidus hanepepe (Kauai Nukupu’u, middle). Illustration © J. Hume


Artist’s reconstruction of a new fossil species Hemignathus vorpalis (bottom), based on its probable resemblance to adult males of its genus: H. wilsoni (Akiapola’au, above) and H. lucidus hanepepe (Kauai Nukupu’u, middle).

Illustration © J. Hume

 

Melinda Zeder
Melinda Zeder in the Anthropology collection.

Melinda Zeder, PhD, is director of the archeobiology program. Among her interests is the way humans have interacted with animals in the Middle East since animals were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago.


These discoveries made me think of domestication as a mutual evolutionary relationship between humans and plant or animal species with benefits for both partners. 

My research has shown that changes in the size and shape of an animal may not happen for 1,000 years or more after it is domesticated. Human control of the animal, genetic change, and changes in body form are separate steps in the domestication process.

[ TOP ]