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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the view of domestication as an ongoing biological process, a form of co-evolution, with selection continuing over each generation, as humans, plants, and animals interact with one another in ways that are mutually beneficial. Domesticates descend from species that could breed and thrive under human management. African domesticates, whether or not originally derived from foreign ancestors, have adapted to disease challenges throughout their range, reflecting local selective pressures under human management. Adaptations include dwarfing and associated increases in fecundity, tick resistance, and resistance or tolerance to several mortal infectious diseases. The genetics of these traits are yet to be fully explored, but reflect the animal side of the close co-evolution between humans and domestic animals in Africa.

Keywords: African domesticates, selective pressure, human management, animal domestication, co-evolution

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