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Unformatted text preview: RE | VOL 418 | 8 AUGUST 2002 | www.nature.com/nature 700 © 2002 Nature Publishing Group insight review articles Horse Zebra Reindeer Elk Cow African buffalo Sheep North American bighorn sheep Goat Rocky Mountain goat Almond Oak Figure 1 Comparisons of domesticated wild species (left of each pair) and their never-domesticated close relatives (right) reveal the subtle factors that can derail domestication. game, plus plant foods requiring much preparation, such as grinding, leaching and soaking14,16. Eventually, people transported some wild plants (such as wild cereals) from their natural habitats to more productive habitats and began intentional cultivation17. The emerging agricultural lifestyle had to compete with the established hunter–gatherer lifestyle. Once domestication began to arise, the changes of plants and animals that followed automatically under domestication, and the competitive advantages that domestication conveyed upon the first farmers (despite their small stature and poor health), made the transition from the hunter–gatherer lifestyle to food production autocatalytic — but the speed of that transition varied con...
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