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Unformatted text preview: t mentioned and others. Instead, the origins of domestication involved unforeseen consequences of two sets of changes — changes in plants and animals, and changes in human behaviour. As initially recognized by Darwin12, and elaborated by Rindos13, many of the differences between domestic plants and their wild ancestors evolved as consequences of wild plants being selected, gathered and brought back to camp by hunter–gatherers, while the roots of animal domestication included the ubiquitous tendency of all peoples to try to tame or manage wild animals (including such unlikely candidates as ospreys, hyenas and grizzly bears). Although humans had been manipulating wild plants and animals for a long time, hunter–gatherer behaviour began to change at the end of the Pleistocene because of increasingly unpredictable climate, decreases in big-game species that were hunters’ first-choice prey, and increasing human occupation of available habitats14,15. To decrease the risk of unpredictable variation in food supply, people broadened their diets (the so-called broad-spectrum revolution) to second- and third-choice foods, which included more small
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- Fall '08