Domestication syndrome: White patches, baby faces and tameness explained by mild neural crest deficits

14 julio 2014

More than 140 years ago, Charles Darwin noticed something peculiar about domesticated mammals. Compared to their wild ancestors, domestic species are more tame, and they also tend to display a suite of other characteristic features, including floppier ears, patches of white fur, and more juvenile faces with smaller jaws. Since Darwin’s observations, the explanation for this pattern has proved elusive, but now, a new hypothesis has been proposed that could explain why breeding for tameness causes changes in such diverse traits.