National Geographic : 2011 Jul
LETTERS Animals also have tamed humans. Animals have developed a trait of telling humans what to do. Cattle bellow when they want food or water. We humans answer their call. Has any research been done to determine how this trait developed? If this trait of animals in distress calling for help occurred in the wild, it would be an invitation for predators. DAVID J. AMELING Newbury Park, California E M A I L email@example.com T W I T T E R @NatGeoSociety W R I T E National Geographic Magazine, PO Box 98199, Washington, DC 20090-8199. Include name, address, and daytime telephone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. Taming the Wild March 2011 Dog owners have a survival advantage? What a joke. Dogs can spread disease to their owners, bite their owners, and even cause the owners to die when the person tries to rescue the dumb beast from a burning house or frigid river. It's not uncommon for a person to excuse themselves from the gene pool when they die trying to save their dog. SAM FOSTER Denver, Colorado Iambothadogloveranda cat lover. I believe felines came to be domesticated for much the same reason as canines. It seems logical that as humans began to cultivate and store grain, cats would have been helpful as rodent control and thus allowed to hang around long enough for us to realize other desirable attributes, such as beauty, soft fur, and purring. BARBARA DANLEY Columbia, Missouri I can't imagine that too many people would consider a fox the perfect pet until animal researchers design a means of eliminating the canid's musk. Ever since foxes infiltrated our suburban neighborhood, their presence has been instantly detectable from blocks away, thanks to their telltale pungent stench---every bit as strong as a colony of skunks'. JOE McELWEE Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania So people domesticate the fox and then sell it to be slaughtered for coats? That is so sad on so many levels. Russia, please stop the experi- ment and allow the remaining tame animals to be sold as the pets you created. That would make more money for the lab than selling them for pelts. Use the money to neuter and microchip the remaining foxes and close the facilities. We domesticated dogs, and now we kill millions of strays every year in the United States alone. Please don't add a new creature to the list. LUCY JOHNSON Dunkirk, New York Corrections MARCH 2011: POLLINATORS The bee on pages 116-117 was misidentified. Its scientific name is Augochloropsis metallica. SUPPLEMENT: THE FACE OF SEVEN BILLION The world's median age is 28. This was incorrectly expressed on the poster as "the world's largest age bracket is 28." F E E D BAC K is graphic summarizes the most common opinions found in your letters about our "Taming the Wild" story. e type is scaled by number of responses. Large phrases were the most common. • I have a story about foxes. Tests are inhumane. Positive Negative Neutral Not a good topic for National Geographic. Animal abuse! Nothing beats a dog. Foxes smell bad I want one! Pet foxes are a bad idea. Dogs evolved from wolves. Animals domesticated humans. .