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Behaviors of Nature

Samantha Ewald
: 1A

As I walk through the woods my shadow starts to fall lower and lower to the
ground with the moon rising. Its time for me to head back to my home to be with
my humans. Every night I head back to the house for my dinner but tonight the
gate is closed and I dont know what to do. I head for the valley to wait and look
into the creek where I see my reflection, I am a wolf. As the days drag on the gate
has still not been opened for me and I am starting to get hungry but I dont know
what to eat or how to get it, which leads me to my main thought, will I survive?
The main point of this is to point out the problems that could be caused by the
captive housing and or breeding which can lead to domestication of wild animals.
Can capturing animals such as wolves when they are either born or bred affect the
hunting skills, mating patterns, or natural instincts of these animals which is what
my paper is about?
Recent research I have gone through has led me to come up with the conclusion
that by capturing wild animals whether they be from ocean, land, or both and
breeding them in domesticated areas can affect their lifespan, natural instincts, and
adaptions. Although this isnt very narrow much research and experimental data
has been collected to back up such predictions.
What I would like to know in more specific detail is what breeds or species are
most affected with such upbringings in captivity versus in the wild. I would also
like to know how long it takes for such occurrences to happen and the overall
effect it would have on the breed as a population not only in the local food chain
but overall worldly effect.
My research question for this specific topic is, if we were to take a certain breed
or breeds and for the next couple of generations breed them in captivity how much
it would alter the survival percentages of not only the young but the older animals
too.
This topic interested me because it is a problem that could ultimately affect major
populations and ecosystems. It started off with just an interest of animals and lead
to the deeper concept of behavioral sciences and the specifics of what causes not
only declines in numbers but extinctions and simple topics too such as animal
attacks with certain breeds of dogs and spikes in predator versus prey percentages.

I found a researcher by the name of Misty McPhee who was interested in the
long-term maintenance of captive populations, and release of captive animals into
the wild, is one of many approaches to endangered species conservation. This topic
was of similarity to mine so I studied her page.
The topics she mainly went into were Introduction to Environmental Issues,
Environmental Science, Principles of Wildlife Management, Wildlife Behavior and
Conservation, Science of Sustainable Food, and Approaches to Resource
Management in Tropical Ecosystems in Belize. One research experiment she did
with her research team was with working with the whooping crane captive
breeding program at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center as well as using
meadow voles in my laboratory to test behavioral change in captive-bred
populations and measure survivorship upon release into controlled experimental
enclosures in the field.
The conclusions of these experiments were varied but most resulted in lose of
most of the released partially domesticated animals. In one certain case certain fox
were released in Blackfeet land and 34 juveniles foxes were observed, as of which
31 were selected by the breeding center for release and, prior to release, 16 were
radio-collared. Of those that died, two were located by a road and had clearly been
killed by motor vehicles; the other three were located more than 100 meters from a
road and the precise cause of death was not established. One animal appeared to
have died within an underground den but it is possible that the collar could have
been removed and the animal was not dead.
Another part of my research was centered to the topic of a different type of animal
sciences this time with certain breeds of dogs with aggression, specifically pit
bulls. My research on this started a couple months ago with my symposium project
also on the behavioral sciences of animals both tamed and wild. What I got out of
this was that a dogs genetics may predispose it to perform certain behaviors;
behavioral variation exists among individuals of the same breed or breed type.
With the pit bull in mind I came across the certain genetics of the mean gene.
With the mean gene I realized here is no such thing as the Mean Gene in dogs
as well as in people.

However mutant genes have been discovered. Alteration of a single DNA base
in the gene encoding an enzyme called monoamine oxidase A has been found to
render the enzyme nonfunctional. This enzyme normally catalyzes reactions that
metabolize the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline.
Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that are released at the end of a nerve
fiber by the arrival of a nerve impulse and, by diffusing across the synapse or
junction, can cause the transfer of the impulse to another nerve fiber, a muscle
fiber, or some other structure. What this does is cause slight mental impairment
which interferes with the ability to cope with certain situations resulting in
aggression.
The next step in researching more about pit bulls was to figure out the origin of
the breed with which I found two possible answers. The first was pit bulls began
during antiquity as the so-called Molossus, a now-extinct breed that was used by
the Greeks as shepherds and guard dogs. In times of war, they marched off to battle
with their humans. Eventually, so the theory goes, the Molossus made it to early
Britain, where it became known as the Mastiff. In the first century CE, Rome
discovered the breed after defeating the Britons, and the dogs spread all over the
empire. For the next four hundred years, they were used as war dogs, and
intermixed with various local breeds all over the European continent, becoming the
forerunners of the modern pit bull.
The second thought was the origin of the pit bull came from England at the time
of the Norman Conquest in 1066, when butchers would use large, Mastiff-type
dogs as bullenbeissers, which translates as bull biter. They were trained to
latch onto a bulls nose and not let go until the animal was subdued, these dogs
were the only way that humans could regain control when a bull became agitated.
Unfortunately, this practical if use eventually led to the sport of bull-baiting,
where dogs were put in a pit with an intentionally riled-up bull and spectators
placed bets on which dog would hold on the longest, or bring the bull down.
Youve probably guessed it by now, but this is also the origin of the terms pit bull
dog and bulldog.
My final step in finishing up my research for both parts of the behavioral
science studies question was gathering the conclusions for both topics. For the
releasing and domestication of wild animals in most if not all of my scientist Mrs.

Misty McPhee studies showed that when bred in anything but the wild once
released the chances of survival decreased like in the fox study. And with the
behavioral variations or genetics of the certain breed pit bulls, Ive gathered
enough research, data, and gone over many cases to understand that yes each breed
is different genetically and unless you consider thoroughly the origins and past
uses of the animal it isnt scientifically correct in saying pit bulls are the most or
one the more aggressive breeds.
Throughout my research I came across ways to look up different specifics with
animals mating, instincts, and migratory patterns along with many more variations
of different traits. I gained skills to determine which cases fit best with my topic
and analyzed which data tables or results would best help with my conclusions.

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