OUT OF THE WILD: The Story of Domesticated Animals by Hope Ryden

OUT OF THE WILD: The Story of Domesticated Animals

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Ryden (Joey, 1994, etc.) describes the probable evolution of 15 of the world's most popular domestic animals including dogs, pigs, sheep, donkeys, elephants, and cats. The book's structure is chronological, beginning with the dog, domesticated from the wolf some 15,000 years ago. Others followed, when humans were hunters and gatherers, created early agriculture settlements, needed labor and transport, or required animals in sports and religious rites. The cat made a relatively late appearance, for use in destroying crop-damaging pests. The book concludes with a section on animals domesticated in the Americas, an ancestry chart, and a detailed index. Throughout, Ryden shows how scientists reconstruct history using evidence from myths and legends, pictures, bones findings, burial grounds, etc. Clear full-color photos make the ideas concrete. There is a fair amount of anthropomorphizing in the introduction: ""So what made them give up their freedom?. . .they [wild animals] never enjoy total peace of mind."" Overall, this is an interesting and informative title, in which the author speaks persuasively of the combined efforts of human and beast to bring each other out of the wild.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Lodestar