The 8 Most Popular Man-made Animals

Popular Man-made Animals and more!

Man-made animals are real live animals!… not animal wannabes like chia pets, furbies, or virtual pets.

Some of the most popular and favored animals that we encounter everyday are basically man-made. These animals are not a new phenomenon; many have been around for thousands of years.

Today’s domestic pets are some earliest animals to be developed. Yet for some of the most popular man-made animals, the original species are no longer found in nature. In fact there are contrary opinions on some, about which species they even originated from.

Since the time when the first wild dogs began skirting human encampments to catch snacks and waste to fill their bellies, the crafting of animals began. Man with his incredible creativity took specific species, domesticated them, and then began to develop them to fill all sorts of needs. They were selectively bred for optimal forms and vocalizations so that they could provide protection, aid in hunting, carry loads, and even be a food source.

Man then took the next step and began to craft animals for more than just practicality. Select breeds began to be developed for unique appearances and for song. New body shapes emerged as well as longer or shorter limbs and tails along with unusual and attractive skin coverings of feathers or fur. But a favorite development has been, and still is, the incredibly beautiful new color forms.

Popular man-made animals are mostly developed from a single species, selectively bred for particular traits. There are also hybrids and mutations. Hybrids result from crossing two closely related species while mutations result from a change in a gene or a chromosome.

Looking at the history of any particular group, however, you will find that a number of breeds are also now “extinct.” Those are animals that lost favor for one reason or another, so were no longer developed.

The 8 most popular man-made animals:

  1. Dogs
    Dog BreedsDog Breeds

    The dog Canis lupus familiaris is the first domesticated animal. Although there are varying studies, it is believed its domestication could have started as early as 34,000 years ago. Other closely related dog types are wolves and foxes. At one time was a popular belief that the ancestors of today’s domestic dogs were wolves, but that lineage has pretty much been disproven in more recent studies.

    There are well over 300 breeds of dogs, not including all the newer designer dogs being developed today. The breeds we see today however, are at most only a few hundred years old.

    The categorization of dogs differs slightly between breed registries. In the United States we usually follow the groupings as set by American Kennel Club (AKC). These groups are the herding dogs, working dogs, hound dogs, sporting dogs, non-sporting dogs, terrier dogs, toy dogs, and mixed dogs.

  2. Cats
    Cat BreedsCat Breeds

    The domestication of cats is believed to have started at least 8,000 years ago. This is indicated by a cat jawbone found on the island of Cyprus in 1983, which dates back to about 6000 B.C. The first record of domesticated cats is from about 3000 to 1450 B.C.

    The African wildcat Felis silvestris lybica is the ancestral subspecies from which domestic cats are descended. In Northern Africa, somewhere around 7000 to 5000 B.C., these small, tabby-striped wild felines arrived in human settlements and started the process of domestication. The domestic cat was first classified as Felis catus by Linnaeus in 1758, but can also be called by its subspecies name, Felis silvestris catus.

    Today there are not only the natural breed cats, but also hybrid cat breeds, cat breed mutations, and exotic cats.

  3. Horses
    Horses and PoniesHorses and Ponies

    The modern horse is the direct descendant of the Eohippus, which lived about 60 million years ago. Their domestication began around 4000 BC and is believed to have become widespread by 3000 BC.

    There are three types of horses, medium sized light breeds that originally evolved in the southern hemisphere, large heavy (draft) breeds that evolved in the northern hemisphere, and the shorter durable Pony breeds that evolved in both.

    The horse breeds can further be divided into three groups based on temperament; the light horses are the “hot bloods” known for speed and endurance, the heavy or draft horses and ponies are “cold bloods” used for heavy work, and the “warm bloods” are crosses between the two with a focus on riding.

    Today there are more than 300 breeds of horses, each developed for particular uses. There are also a number of wild horse populations, called “feral breeds”, in numerous countries around the world.

  4. Rabbits
    Pet RabbitsPet Rabbits

    Rabbits have been around for at least 3 to 4 million years. All domesticated rabbits are descended from the European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus. This is the only species of rabbit which has ever been domesticated. They were first domesticated in Spain, but then became widely distributed by the seafaring Phoenicians. Still today wild European Rabbits can be found in countries all across the world.

    Rabbits have a great capacity to multiply themselves and so can be readily raised. They have been domesticated and used for many different purposes. Today there are at least 40 known breeds and around 130 varieties. There are also 10 or so varieties that are now extinct.

    Pet rabbits can be categorized into four broad groups; fancy breeds, lop breeds, fur breeds, and rex breeds.

  5. Canaries
    Canary VarietiesCanary Varieties

    All domestic canaries are descended from the Atlantic or Island Canary Serinus canaria. Since 1478, when the Spaniards conquered the Canary Islands, these canaries became favored for their beautiful song, coloration, and feathering.

    Today there are basically three breed types of domestic canary and numerous varieties in each breed and there are many mixed breeds. The breed types include: the Color Canary bred for various colors, the Song Canary bred for their song, and the Type Canary bred for distinct characteristics of shape, feathering.

    Some canary types that were popular at one time are no longer available, having made way for new varieties and the varieties that are currently popular.

  6. Goldfish
    Goldfish TypesGoldfish Types

    All the goldfish of today originated from Central Asia (Siberia). They are descendants of a wild carp fish known as the Prussian or Gibel Carp Carassius gibelio (syn: Carassius auratus gibelio).

    Goldfish are one of the first aquatic animals in recorded history to be kept as pets. They were originally developed in China, beginning somewhere between the years 265 – 420. They were then traded to Japan in the 1500’s, to Europe in the 1600’s, and to America by the 1800’s.

    The results of this century’s long endeavor are the wonderful goldfish varieties we see today. They have been developed for body shape and form, finnage, and a wide variety of beautiful colors. It is estimated that there are over 125 types of gold fish.

  7. Guinea Pigs
    Guinea Pig VarietiesGuinea Pig Varieties

    The Guinea Pig Cavia porcellus, is also called the “Cavy,” and is a species of rodent. The popular guinea pigs of today are believed to be the result of the hybridization of three closely related cavy species. They were domesticated between 9000 and 3000 B.C. by the Incas of Peru, and were used for their fur as well as used for food. English and Dutch slave traders took some of these guinea pigs to Guinea (thus the name “guinea”) and then to Europe, where they became popular pets.

    There are many breeds of guinea pig or cavy that have been developed to become very appealing pets. The English or American Short-haired, Abyssinian which has a rough-coat, and the Peruvian which has a long-coat, are the three “core” breed that the others were developed from. Today there are at least 13 recognized breeds, a number of unrecognized breeds, and many color varieties of each breed type.

  8. Pigeons and Doves
    Dove and Pigeon TypesDove and Pigeon Types

    All domestic pigeons and dove have come from a single species of wild pigeon, the Rock Dove Columba livia. There is no scientific separation between them, but in general the term ‘pigeon’ is usually applied to the larger species and ‘dove’ to the smaller species. They are generally recognized as one or the other by the common names given to them over the years.

    It is not known when these birds first became kept in captivity, but they have been bred and hybridized for various purposes for thousands of years. They have been crafted for specialized traits such as the homing instinct, aerial acrobatics, and unique feather structures. There are over 200 domesticated pigeon and dove breeds with at least 1250 varieties of these breeds.

There are all sorts of other animals that have also been developed through selective breeding. They include not only mammals, but also birds, aquatic species and reptiles. A lot of exciting new varieties being crafted today, yet they still represent only small a handful of animals when you consider the hundreds of thousands of species found throughout the Animal World.

Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Photos and collage images provided courtesy of Animal-World.com contributors on Dr. Jungle’s Pets and Animal Photos and Classroom Clipart.

Goldfish Identity Crisis! Which Fish is which?

September 9, 2014 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Freshwater fish

Fancy Goldfish TypesGoldfish of all kinds!

You may think you know what a goldfish is but hold on to your hat… knowing which fish is which is no simple task!

Everybody knows what a goldfish is, right? After all, we’ve all read “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss, and watched the wild ride of that poor goldfish in a bowl, and just about everybody has kept a goldfish at one time or other!

Fish keepers and even people who aren’t fish keepers know what goldfish are; at least they think they do. So what’s all the fuss? A goldfish is simply a goldfish right?

Goldfish are such a common fish, and they are seen in every pet store. It may have been true that a goldfish was simply a goldfish if humans had not been thrown into the mix. But when a man sees a lump of clay or anything else in his surroundings, human nature takes over. Man simply has to mold that clay into a beautiful creation, and so it has been with the development of goldfish.

Step into your local pet store and tell them you want to get a goldfish. They will happily take you over to their coldwater system and show you their fine selection. You will see fish that look just like the common goldfish, but you may also see all sorts of different fish. And that’s where the goldfish identity crisis begins!

Set aside that cute Dr. Seuss book and step into the world of fancy goldfish. You’ll quickly see that there is nothing simple about the goldfish. There are over 125 different varieties, each with it’s identifying features.

Here’s a look at the complexities of the goldfish:

Body: Goldfish come in all sorts of shapes (and sizes).

 

There are skinny goldfish…

Shubunkin GoldfishShubunkin Goldfish

But also goldfish that are so fat they may even look like golf balls…

Pearlscale GoldfishPearlscale Goldfish

And some goldfish will have highly arched backs…

Ranchu GoldfishRanchu Goldfish

Head: Although goldfish can have normal heads, they can also be very abnormal.

 

Some goldfish have lumpy heads…

Redcap Oranda GoldfishOranda Goldfish

And then there are those with lumpy heads AND lumpy cheeks…

Lionhead GoldfishLionhead Goldfish

Or how about a goldfish with bushy eyebrows?

Pom Pom GoldfishPom Pom Goldfish

Eyes: Many have normal eyes, but some goldfish will have very funny eyes.

 

Some goldfish have bubble eyes..

Bubble Eye GoldfishBubble Eye Goldfish

Or telescope eyes…

Telescope GoldfishTelescope Goldfish

And even eyes that gaze at the stars…

Celestial Eye GoldfishCelestial Eye Goldfish

Fins: Goldfish may have normal fins, but there’s also some very interesting fins.

 

Goldfish elegance shows its stuff with beautiful long flowing fins…

Fantail GoldfishFantail Goldfish

Or full flowery fins…

Veiltail GoldfishVeiltail Goldfish

But sometimes they are missing a fin, those known as dorsal less goldfish…

Lionhead GoldfishLionhead Goldfish

Color: You would think the color of goldfish would be, well gold.

 

Now this is a typical goldfish!…

Common GoldfishCommon Goldfish

But some goldfish are all black…

Black Moor GoldfishBlack Moor Goldfish

Or they can have a multitude of colors…

Ryukin GoldfishRyukin Goldfish

And some will even look like a panda…

Panda Moor GoldfishPanda Moor Goldfish

So yes, there are those simple goldfish that we all know and love, but with an expanded idea of what a goldfish can be… we can bring the goldfish identity crisis to an end!

Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Featured Pet of the Week: The Common Goldfish

The Common Goldfish

The Featured Pet of the Week is: The Common Goldfish!

Goldfish are well known fish that are great pets because they are very attractive, have great personalities with their keepers, and are “easy” to keep. This is definitely true, and for this reason the common goldfish, Carassius auratus auratus, is actually a great fish for beginners. Working in a pet store for a number of years, I have had my fair share of caring for goldfish as well as many other fish and animals.

When people would come into the pet store to get goldfish they generally wanted them for one of two purposes, as feeder fish or as pets. Goldfish are often a first pet for children. They are a fun, yet a fairly inexpensive introduction to the world of fish keeping, and pet keeping in general. I would then help them get all set up for their goldfish with an aquarium set-up, food and a care sheet.

Goldfish are quite colorful and can easily be found at almost any pet store. Common goldfish are inexpensive and make a great starter fish. They will eat almost any type of fish food offered to them and get along well with most other community fish. Though they are sometimes put in a goldfish bowl or a smaller aquarium when they are young, they do grow into large fish so will soon need a much larger aquarium. Goldfish can also do well in ponds. This is because they are naturally cold-water fish and don’t need to have strict temperature control like many tropical fish do. Common goldfish will also usually fare well with other pond fish, such as koi.

Goldfish are considered hardy and can survive in many conditions, but they must be provided with a good environment. The Common Goldfish can get quite large, over 12 inches when they are kept in large enough aquariums or ponds and in optimum conditions. Optimal conditions for goldfish are dependent on a lot of oxygen in the water, and good water quality. A habitat that is not optimal can not only stunt their growth, but will also decrease their lifespan. Small goldfish bowls or fish tanks that are too small will not provide optimum conditions and your pets won’t reach their potential full size.

Provide the best environment by keeping pet goldfish in a good-sized aquarium with a heater, proper filtration for good water quality, and other social fish as tank mates. This will keep them healthy for the duration of their lives. Of course, the more fish you plan to keep in your aquarium, the larger you will want it to be.

Goldfish need a lot of oxygen, so you will want to get a tank with a lot of surface area. Surface area helps to increase the amount of oxygen in the tank. Also, goldfish produce a lot of waste (in comparison to other fish), so you will want more water volume per fish to help keep it cleaner. It is recommended to start with at least a 20-gallon tank for your first goldfish, and then to increase it an additional 10 gallons for every additional goldfish. The general rule is that you should provide a minimum of 1 gallon of water for every 1 inch of fish length. But as the goldfish become larger, this rule doesn’t apply as well because larger fish consume more oxygen and produce even more waste.

Goldfish are very social creatures and thrive when living with other fish. Therefore, they do very well with other goldfish and a variety of community fish. They act as scavengers as well, and so if kept in a community tank, there is little need for other scavengers or bottom feeders. One thing to keep watch out for is to make sure they do not have any diseases – such as ich or parasites. Whenever adding new fish to an aquarium, watch for any signs of a problem and treat the aquarium accordingly.

In conclusion, if you would like to get a fish that is easy to care for and hardy, starting with goldfish may be the way to go! To learn more, visit the Common Goldfish page!